Thursday, September 27, 2012

Breathtaking Cinemascope and Stereophonic Sound

I've been a big fan of audio books for years, so when my own books started making it into audio I was excited. I don't quite know how to explain why it's such a thrill to hear someone else reading your work aloud, but it is. (It's also vastly uncomfortable hearing your sex scenes read aloud, but that's a whole other discussion.)

Three of my Carina Press books made it into audio. I listened to every minute of Fair Game and overall I thought it was a pretty decent production. It was the first time it was driven home to me that there might be legitimate different readings of my words. You would think that would be obvious, but no. I liked the voice of the narrator for Icecapade, but he pronounced Noel's name as "Noelle" and I couldn't get past the first minute. After that I kind of lost my taste for hearing my own work and when Lone Star went to audio, I never bothered to listen. I was afeared to hear those Texas accents.

Yet I continue to buy and listen to audio books, and you'd have to be oblivious not to notice audio is becoming a bigger and bigger deal in publishing. So all those years of readers asking if I would ever consider putting the Adrien English series into audio did not go unheeded. At the same time, I had no idea how I could make that happen.

But then along came ACX or the Audiobook Creation Exchange. And, in fact, here was the news bulletin Amazon released this week:

Exciting New Kindle and Audible Features Whispersync for Voice and Immersion Reading



You can use ACX to produce a digital audiobook version of your book, and to make your book eligible for the new Whispersync for Voice functionality which allows customers to switch seamlessly between reading a Kindle book and listening to the corresponding, professionally narrated audiobook across devices without losing their place. Audiobooks will also be eligible for the new Immersion Reading feature, which allows customers with the new Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD devices to listen to a professionally narrated audiobook from Audible as the text of the corresponding Kindle book is highlighted on the screen. When customers buy your Kindle book, they will be able to purchase your Whispersync for Voice-ready Audible audiobook at a special limited time discounted price.

You can earn royalties of up to 90% on your audiobook when it’s created and distributed using ACX. ACX was developed by Audible, an Amazon company, to help authors and publishers get their books into audio and gain access to the growing audience of audiobook listeners. ACX provides access to thousands of talented audiobook producers, actors and studios, available for hire for a fee or for a no-cost, royalty-sharing partnership. ACX also provides great distribution options across all of the leading audiobook retail channels. It’s free to try ACX. Click here for more information about ACX and these new features.


The best part of an enterprise like ACX is you to choose the right voice (which is paramount, I think) from a number of auditions. You set your budget and you can either split royalties or pay an hourly rate up front for the production. From the minute I stumbled across the site, I was excited by the possibilities.

Obviously I thought I would start out (very tentatively) with the AE series. Writing gay fiction, and erotic gay fiction at that, means I wasn't swamped with auditions, but to my delight I did eventually find a very talented narrator by the name of Chris Patton to narrate Fatal Shadows.

Of course everyone has their own idea of how Adrien sounds, but I really liked Chris's voice and I appreciated his professionalism. It seemed like it would be a good match, and so I figured that was that. If everything went well, Chris could do the whole series, and why shouldn't it go well? But if it didn't, I didn't want to commit any further.

 But I just couldn't help listening to other narrators and considering all my other titles and though I didn't want to over-invest in something that might flop big time, I found I just couldn't help listing something very different -- The Darkling Thrush -- just out of curiosity. It's a short work but it's a complicated work. All those lyrical descriptions, all those English and Scottish accents, all that Gaelic.

Well, I only got three auditions.  One backed out when he realized belatedly the project was for gay fiction. The other two auditions were good but one was just...the sound quality was a little iffy and the narrator didn't have a slew of credits, but something about his voice, his delivery just really captured the story -- and my attention. So I asked for a second audition and we communicated a bit and I decided to go with my gut.

Today I listened to the completed files for The Darkling Thrush as narrated by Max Miller and I have to say I. Love. This. Book. Or at least I love Max's reading of it (because holy moly there are a lot of continuity errors in that thing--and hearing the book read aloud really made that painfully clear)! 

But lingering resentment over sloppy copy and proof editng aside, I was chuckling all the way through the completed files, rarely wincing (although I still can't stand to hear my sex scenes read aloud), loving the different voices Max came up with. It made me want to write the sequel! I can't wait for people to hear this book.

Which doesn't change the fact that I have no idea whether it will pay for itself -- I have no idea whether Fatal Shadows will pay for itself -- although given that audio books are so much more affordable now, I feel pretty confident that having an audio backlist is going to be a good move.

Meanwhile, I've been continuing to get auditions for the remaining and still technically uncontracted Adrien books, and some of those voices were wonderful. I thought...well, what about some of these other standalones? What about Kit Holmes? I've got a LOT of books. What about those?

Oh yeah, I've got  the audio book bug now. I asked readers what books they'd most like to hear in audio after Adrien, and I started listing more projects and contacting narrators directly. It's exciting to control this piece of it -- to be able to pick the right voice and the right sensibility for my stories. It's a lot more complicated than just reading the book out loud. It feels like an added creative element to me, but maybe that's not how it seems to the narrator. All I can say is the right narrator brings something unique to the work, something that is all them -- and they become part of the book.

Of course the wrong narrator can wreck a book.

This audio thing is big. Big and getting bigger all the time. I've had a couple of other audio sites and audio production companies contact me directly -- and it's possible I'll try a couple of shorter works with them. ACX does a lot of things well, but their technical support leaves  A LOT to be desired. Plus I've been listening to narrators who aren't even on ACX.

This opens a whole new line of consideration. I like the voice of "Max Tatch" (the guy who narrated Icecapade and Lone Star) and I'd probably use him again, but he doesn't seem to exist. I'm guessing "Max Tatch" is a pseudonym. Also, I like the voice of Sean Crisden who's done a lot of m/m work for Dreamspinner, but as much as I like his voice, do I want my characters to have the same voice as all those other m/m books? Probably not.

But would that matter to readers? I have no idea.

Anyway, I got a little carried away and used up my entire audio book budget for the year (startling,  given that I started the year without such a thing as an "audio book budget") but the end result is there will be four audio books this year including Fatal Shadows, The Darkling Thrush, The Ghost Wore Yellow Socks (that will be Max Miller again -- it'll be fascinating to see what he does with such a different project) and Somebody Killed His Editor.

I settled on Kevin R. Free for the voice for Kit Holmes and we've already contracted the first two books in the series. I'm very excited about that. Kevin's voice is a little husky and he's got a great sense of comedic timing -- he sounds just like Kit Holmes to me. Which is to say that he doesn't sound like any of my other narrators, and that's one of the most exciting things. It's important to me that the characters all not sound alike, that they be just as unique as they felt to me while I was writing them.

Anyway, that's my adventures in audio so far.

What do you think about audio books? Which of my books would you like to see put into audio?



52 comments:

  1. Hmmm, I have to say that I hate audio books, for one thing they are so much slower than my reading pace, and for another they never quite have the same nuances as the voices in my head. However if they have inspired you to think about a sequel to The Darkling Thrush, I am delighted. I love that book even though there are some continuity problems and it is far too good a world not to explore more widely.

    ReplyDelete
  2. When they are bad, they are very bad.

    And voices are so subjective. The way I hear Adrien's voice may not be how others hear it. And frankly my choice is somewhat limited by the number of auditions and narrators I hear. And I struggle with this -- am I making these decisions too fast? Am I letting my enthusiasm for a new art form carry me away?

    Right now I'm in the blush of first love with the audio format. That could change fast, frankly.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ha, I so agree with seraphinawitch regarding audiobook pace versus my reading speed. So I'll freely admit that I am unlikely to by any Josh Lanyon audiobooks (SORRY). But there's definitely a time and a place for audiobooks: we lived in the USA for 2 1/2 years moving back to Europe 4 weeks before 9/11, with a lot of traveling while in the States. Our children were early teens, maybe even younger than that, and the Harry Potter audiobooks saved our collective sanity during those looooong drives through the States.

    Of course I know you don't write books for teenagers (at least not intentionally), but still: in my experience long road trips are the ideal time to listen to audiobooks.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Road trips are ideal. But I'm also starting to like them for sorting papers, filing, any dull job that doesn't require a lot of thought. I used to love them driving to work each day, but I don't really drive anywhere anymore.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Well, I will share in your enthusiasm, since I adore both your work and audiobooks. I have long owned the three you have on offer and listen to them regularly. I love how audiobooks slow the story down and allow me to savor each word and moment (especially when the prose is good, like yours). I also appreciate the versatility of an audiobook, which I can listen to on road trips or while walking and cleaning. I even love audiobooks when I have a migraine and find an old well loved story a welcome distraction from my pain.

    I admit am not particularly sensitive to narrators (as long as he/she at least attempts an accent if there is one, that is my one pet peeve.) I feel that, in the same way a minimalist set can still symbolically evoke atmosphere in a stage performance, your story will not be diminished, even by a poor narrator, and will only be enhanced by the human element that a good one can bring. Also, since you are choosing your own narrators, I cannot imagine many of those who do like the audio format feeling newly alienated from your work. The "Noelle" fiasco, for example, is unlikely to happen again.

    To draw this very long story to a close (I really do like dragging things out :-), although I also don't know the financial viability of this new endeavor of yours, and I am aware that my own very subjective opinion is not shared by everyone, I can promise, for my part, to joyously buy whatever new audio selections you put on offer. The "Dangerous Ground" books are probably my favorite, but really, I'll take whatever you give me.

    Claire

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like that thought about slowing down and drawing out the words to savor them. I had a real sense of that with The Darkling Thrush. I think fantasy novels are structured more for this kind of thing. As I was listening I kept thinking...where did I come up with that? It's not too bad! :-D

      But even the contemporary works -- it's very interesting and even educational hearing these stories read aloud. I think it's not impossible that it may even change my writing. I'm so much more aware of word and phrase repetition or the fact that a description or phrase might be misinterpreted.

      But also that I don't need to control every single aspect of the storytelling process. And that's always a key one for writers -- allowing the reader (or in this case the narrator) to interpret.

      Anyway, thanks for your comments, Claire!

      Delete
  6. Claire has said everything that I was going to say! So, ditto, ditto, ditto.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I recently started listening to audio books, Fair Game was my first :) I love to listen while driving to and from work. I will buy any audio book you put out there, I can't wait!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm glad to hear it, Sylvia.

    I finally broke down and listened to Lone Star in the Men Under the Mistletoe audio book. I actually liked it quite a bit, although I would have used Web's father's voice for Web -- and the nice thing about commissioning these books myself is that those are the decisions I get to make.

    Very nice for the inner control freak! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Well, there goes my budget! I’ve enjoyed audiobooks for quite some time, though usually only for stories that I have previously read and enjoyed. I always seem to find something new when I listen to a book… connections or nuances I missed before. Whether it’s from the slower pace or narrator interpretation, I love getting another view of a treasured story. Out of the dozens of audiobooks I’ve purchased there has been only one where the narrator’s voice really interfered with the story (damn those Texas accents!) So I greedily look forward to adding to my Josh Lanyon library collection. The titles you have listed are among my favorites, but then I will buy anything you write without hesitation and know that I will not be disappointed. Thanks for giving me yet another way to enjoy your work.

    --Meri

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Meri!

      Yes, accents are tricky as all get out. And Texan is probably one of the hardest because you don't want your hero to sound like Huckleberry Hound.
      :-D

      Not that HH wasn't an effective law officer!

      Anyway, thank you for that vote of support.

      Delete
  10. I've never posted anything before which is why I am "anonymous" as I couldn't figure out how to respond with my name (I learned to write on a typewriter and computers still are something of a mystery to me).

    As the other "anonymous" said: "there goes my budget". Audiobooks! Wow! Something else to look forward to buying. Would love to discover how the stories sound being read out loud. I've been buying anything by you since discovering your books last year when I was drawn to the outstanding cover art of "Fatal Attraction". I currently own all your ebooks and have started a paper collection with the AE series and "Arm and Dangerous".

    I own a Nook which apparently doesn't have "Fair Game" or "Lone Star" on audio as far as I can tell. Since Amazon and Nook do not speak to each other, I'm in a quandary as to how to secure these and future audio books for my Nook. Most of the audiobook sellers seem to be jumping on the Kindle bandwagon and do not support the Nook. Guess I'll have to continue to sleuth around for more info.

    Thank you for your enjoyable books; looking forward to 2013 and hopefully more Holmes & Moriarty as well as Taylor and Will.

    An Addicted Fan:

    Terri

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Terri, this whole proprietary thing is really disturbing to me. Amazon is the worst, but Apple is apparently right on their heels with it.

      Amazon with their Cloud player -- I can't think of a better argument for NOT buying music through Amazon.

      How dare these companies control how we access our books, music, film? As much as I despise the lame-ass moral arguments of digital pirates, on this point they are correct.

      And it's one reason I never opt into these proprietary agreements with publishers like B&N and Amazon.

      There is definitely more Will and Taylor and JX and Kit ahead!

      Delete
  11. Tninking some more about accents, these are really difficult, I think. My very favourite of all your books is The White Knight...perhaps because I loved Mary Renault's Charioteer so much. I also love the way you handled a character with mental health issues and Dan is just delicious. But an audio book? That would be really difficult, you would need American, English and Welsh accents and English with a tinge of working class Birmingham for the chauffeur/pet thug. Actually could we just have Richard Burton...he'd be perfect, could do all the accents and the general narration in that black velvet voice with a tinge of Welsh...oooohhh. Need to have a nice sit down and a cup of tea to get over that thought.

    I think the Darkling Thrush has similar problems, you need American and English but the sort of clipped aristocratic English accents that even the BBC doesn't always get right, and then there are the Highland and Island accents for the bit north of the border. And do you have music for the transitions?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! I'd say The Darkling Thrush is probably the project most likely to test a narrator, but I think Max Miller did a great job with it. I was chuckling all the way through at the variety of accents and voices. He's got quite a range.

      Stange Fortune would be a tough one too. All those British, Indian and fantastical accents. But of course that's part of what makes it fun to listen to -- and maybe even (hopefully) part of what makes them fun to narrate.

      Delete
  12. Wonder if this is the same Chris Patton I'm thinking of... if so, I just squee'd in excitement.
    Fair Game was the first of your books I got on audio, and the mystery aspect got me through some dull hours at work pretty well. Just got a little paranoid that people would walk in and somehow hear the headphones during sexual scenes. Haven't listened to Lone Star, though, mainly due to fear of how the Texan accent will sound. We mangle words pretty bad down here.
    But more of your books in audio format? As aptly mentioned by others: there goes the bank account.
    So when should we be expecting these? :D
    --Courtney

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Courtney,

      I've only heard a bit of Chris's recording, but it sounds great so far.

      It takes about a month from the point the books are completed to when they enter the sales channel so it looks to me like the release dates will go something like:

      Darkling Thrush - early November
      Fatal Shadows - early December
      The Ghost Wore Yellow Socks - early December
      Somebody Killed HIs Editor - early January

      Delete
  13. How exciting! I have always loved being read to, and audio books of course cover this. I work from home and use audio books when having to do endless hours of bookwork, so I would love to have your books on audio.
    I have one problem though, when I discovered that you had 'Fair Game' on audio, I excitedly went to get a copy, only to find the age old problem of it not being available to Australians. If I do a search through Amazon or Audible while logged in, they won't even show your audio books, even though you have an audio book tag at Amazon.
    I so hope that your future works will not have this restriction, Because I would be one of those contributing to your future audio book budget. ;D
    Aside from that, it sounds like you are having a lot of fun with this and I hope it is very successful for you.

    Rose

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The geographic restrictions are a real headache, Rosewin. It looks like ACX's titles will be available here at through the UK. But will that include Australia? I don't know.

      I do know it probably will not include the Asian market and I know that is going to be a serious frustration for fans.

      I've yet to think of a solution.

      Delete
    2. Good new! I got it no problem. Now looking forward to a good old listen. :)

      Delete
  14. I am very excited to hear about your audio book project! As Rose said though, your books are currently unavailable as I live in France. I was VERY annoyed.

    I started listening to audio books regularly about 2 years ago when I finally started going to the gym regularly. It makes the time on the stationary bike or the treadmill go so much faster!

    When I was young, I remember reading out loud my favorite books to my younger brother and sister and have always enjoyed listening to the voices of characters in books. I guess I have been lucky not to come across any bad narrations, I sometimes am a bit surprised, but generally just go with it.

    I really hope that I will have access to your new books. If I do, I promise I will get them all! I will start saving my audible credits just for you :)

    Last thing and I will stop rambling : if you do another I would love to hear 'Come unto these yellow sands'. Just saying...





    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love being read to -- and I love reading aloud. I used to read to my sibs and then later to my nieces and nephews.

      That's made me very conscious during this process of commissioning audio books as to the type of voice I want reading to me. I find I want a human voice, not a mechanical, technically perfect voice. I want a voice with character and inflection. If that makes sense.

      But the whole audio book process has been fascinating. There have certainly been disappointments, but overall I've been really pleased and I remain enthusiastic about the audio market in general.

      Hey, CUTYS is listed, so assuming we can find the right narrator, it will eventually be in audio!

      Delete
  15. I'm an audiobook fiend and have replaced watching T.V. with listening to my favorite books and discovering new ones. My first listen was in 1989 - Interview With a Vampire. I've not looked back. Very excited to hear about your upcoming audio projects. I wish you much luck in your search for appropriate narrators. They really can make or break a story. Fortunately, if purchasing from Audible, you can listen to a decent sample before buying and their return policy prevents you from being stuck with something you don't like. It would be great if Phil Gigante or Robert Petkoff were available to read any of your books that require a British or Gaelic accent. Both very talented and sensual when called for. Again, good luck. Looking forward to listening.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree wholeheartedly about the narrator. Different voices and different reading styles work better depending on the project.

      That's one reason I'm interested to hear how Max, who has such a perfect voice (in my opinion) for fantasy, will do with a contemporary story.

      I was disappointed to see one narrator talking about how boring it was to do audio books -- I can imagine it is, compared to some things an artist might do (music, for example -- making your own album is certainly a bigger creative challenge) but from my perspective a really good narrator brings something unique, something of themselves to the project.

      Or at least this is what you hope. No one wants to feel like their creative effort is someone else's auto pilot.

      Delete
  16. I have certainly listened to a fair amount of audio where the narrator is reading like they just want the check. Such a disservice they do to an author's work and the listener's wallet. Hopefully with ACX we will find that the author has the ability to truly pair a good story with a good reader. I, for one, would be truly grateful. My entertainment budget is mainly for audiobooks and ebooks. It burns my butt when I throw good money after bad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's a real mix on ACX. A lot of narrators who would like to break into audio books but so far have only done commercials for radio or the web -- and that can be such a different kind of voice and style.

      So someone can have a long list of credits but they just aren't a voice you want to sit and listen to for any length of time.

      Delete
  17. Oh, yes I agree. I have found that the narrator can either greatly enhance or completely ruin the listening experience for me. I've had to return audiobooks after only listening to a chapter when the narrator sounded like he was reading a textbook - with little or no emotion. The audiobook experience for me is more akin to watching a play where the actor is trying to bring the author's words to life, not simply recite them.
    I hadn't realized that you had some of you works out in audiobooks Josh. How did I miss that? There goes my book budget too! I just signed up for Audible and got "His for the Holidays". I was really curious as to how this would sound as I thought it would've made a great short film.
    I found myself laughing out loud several times and really enjoyed it - although the "Noelle" pronunciation threw me at first. And I agree that listening to sex scenes does take some getting used to.
    But I'm excited to get the rest of your releases. I wish you much success.
    Tj

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey there, TJ!

      Yes, I really liked the narrator on those Carina anthologies.

      Oh and yes! Just like with writing, reading humor is tricky. In fact, nothing can kill a line like a narrator with no feel for comedy.

      Delete
  18. I just wanted to let you know I just finished The Darkling Thrush and I have to tell you that I LOVED IT! The gentleman doing the voices did a great job.

    I have all your other books that are available in audio also and I have to say that I love them too. You are always one that I re-listen to regularly.

    I am excited to have as many as your books in audio as I can. I look forward to the Adrian English series. But make no mistake I would take all your books that way. I do read them all but it is nice to have it in audio form when I have to run kids around town for various activities.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad! Thanks for letting me know. I feel very pleased with the end result, but you never know till you hear from readers.

      Er...listeners. :-)

      Delete
  19. I am so excited about the fact that AE books will be released in audio! I love the series and I am a huge fan of audiobooks in general and I am a fan of your books and these news just made me so excited! Now I know how to spend my Audible credits. =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad. It's exciting -- and fun. I'm hoping readers will enjoy it as much as I am. We'll see!

      As a matter of fact, the work was completed on Fatal Shadows last night, so hopefully we'll be getting that into the sales channel soon.

      Delete
  20. I love audiobooks, but can you make sure all readers can buy them. I have one of yours through Audible.co.uk, The Darkling Thrush, but I can't buy any more as they are only being sold to US residents via Audible.com, and they won't allow anyone else to buy them.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi Josie,

    Unfortunately I don't control the audio rights to the Carina Press releases. I can promise you though that all books I do control audio to will have worldwide distribution -- or as close as Audible.com will permit.

    Thanks for commenting.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thanks for your reply Josh. I contacted Carina and they emailed me back saying that they are sorting out the worldwide distribution and it should all be sorted within a few weeks, so that's good news. Thanks as well for the first Adrian English book, I bought that today.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Sorry I forgot to say how much I loved The Darkling Trush, and considering I had never read the book it was relatively easy to follow. Max Miller was amazing and I do so hope you use him a lot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad! Putting that one into audio was kind of an afterthought, but now I think it's one of the most suitable. I really like fantasy stories in audio -- maybe even more so than contemporary and mystery.

      Delete
  24. Bought and finished listening to 'The Darkling Thrush '. Loved the story and love Max Miller as narrator. What a find! He's wonderful. I hope he gets a chance to narrate many more good books. Great choice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, D! I agree. Max does a great job.

      Delete
  25. I was happy to hear that you are pursuing this avenue, and as one who reads all the time (and in all formats - eBooks on my Kindle; ‘real’ books from the library; books on audio), am just tossing out my two cents on the subject.

    First, I personally feel that the choice of narrator is crucial. I’ve listened to hundreds of books in audio format over the years, and for me, this is a (if not the) key point to success – it can make or break a book in my opinion. A good narrator can take a so-so book and turn it into something magical A so-so narrator can take an excellent book and turn it into something unreadable (unlistenable, I suppose). I’ve found that listening to books in audio format brings out a whole different way of experiencing, enjoying, and interpreting the story on a much more personal level that I would ever have expected, and much of this (I feel) is due to the commitment that the narrator brings with him or her to tell the story.

    Second, it’s pretty important to me that for a series in audio format, that the same narrator is engaged to read all the books in the series. I listen to many book series in audio format; (e.g., Martin’s Game of Thrones series, Nesser’s Van Veeteren series; Nesbo’s Harry Hole series), and I want the continuity of voice narration for all the books in the series. You begin to identify the characters in the ‘voice’ and ‘style’ each narrator uses to bring that character to life, and it’s disconcerting to all of a sudden have them ‘speak’ in a different voice. I think that this is something to keep in mind when bringing a series over to audio.

    A quick aside to this – I was thrilled to see that the first AE book, Fatal Shadows, is now available in audio format; I already purchased it and listened to it yesterday, and must tell you that I felt Chris Patton was a superb choice for the narration. I hope he will be contracted out to complete the entire series.

    I enjoyed reading the comments here referring to the narrator’s pronunciation of Noel’s name in Icecapade. I only purchased the audio version of the book (and therefore never read or saw how Noel’s name was written); so when listening to the narration, it never crossed my mind that something was ‘off’ or ‘wrong’ about the pronunciation at all. As a matter of fact, (and this is from what I remember of the story – it’s been a while since I listened to it), but I seem to remember that Noel’s character came from somewhat of a diverse cultural background…so if the narrator gave the pronunciation of his name in a way that was a bit ‘odd’ or different-sounding – it was a non-issue for me when listening to the book. I kind of got a kick out of reading the comments here – its funny how one thing can stick out like a sore thumb for one person and yet another doesn’t even notice it’s there!

    Thanks for giving us the opportunity to share our thoughts and comments with you, and have a great weekend! Aloha, Suzanne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aloha, Suzanne. I agree with you pretty much on all points.

      That said, as much as I like Chris's work, he's a busy guy and his focus seems to be on his voice over career, so I'm not sure whether there will have to be a switch in narrators or not. I do know I'm picky as hell when it comes to choosing the right voices for each story! ;-)

      Delete
  26. I just bought "Fatal Shadows" and "Darkling Thrush". I loved "Fatal Shadows" (the voice was very good for Adrien, even though emphases were sometimes off, imho), I hope there will be more AE in audio. And your other books, too :) (Snowball in Hell, Out of the Blue are my favorites)
    "DT", I'm sorry to say, I couldn't stand the narration.

    I have all your books in audio, except for "Lone Star", and it's only because there's no option to buy it separately. (Maybe it is now, but looks like it became unavailable in my country)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I believe Carina Press is working to make their releases available worldwide, so hopefully that will happen soon!

      That's too bad about TDT, but voices are tricky. I've listened to dozens of auditions now for various works, and there are some solid readings but the voices are just NOT what I picture for my characters. Or the voice is good but the inflections are all wrong. Or the voice is good and the ambient sound is bad. Never mind getting to the part where the punches are sloppy or the accents are slipping! I've got a whole new respect for book narrators. Not that I ever thought it would be easy, but I don't think I fully appreciated how difficult it is.

      Delete
  27. I just finished listening to Fatal Shadows and I loved it! The voice wasn't initially how I pictured Adrien, but it grew on me. I listen to audiobooks when cook, when I clean, when I drive, walk, exercise, and when I go to bed. The AE books are comfort reads for me, so all I can say is "hurry hurry hurry" with the rest!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad.

      The voices thing is tricky because it turns out that we do seem to have preconceptions of what the voices of characters are like.

      The voices in our head really do have voices!

      Delete
  28. I love audio books so was thrilled to see Fatal Shadows was available. Can't wait for the rest of the series so keep them coming :)

    Chris was an excellent choice, all of his interpretations were spot on for me. Adrien's voice was the only one that was not just as I imagined, (not quite as snarky) but actually on reflection I felt the softer voice subtely shows Adrien's kind nature, he is so much more than just a smart-aleck. I always love how hearing a book makes you notice characterisations and details in a different way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. I think Chris captures Adrien nicely. That's a good point about Adrien's essential kindness. He can be snarky, but he's not mean. And I think a narrator probably has to lean toward the softer end of the spectrum to capture that.

      Chris' Jake is wonderful. :-D

      Delete
  29. I bought The Darkling Thrush audiobook and absolutely loved it. I have a few audiobooks and find some of the narrators are a bit hit and miss. But I completely fell in love with Max Miller's voice, so much so that I immediately bought The Ghost Wore Yellow Socks even though I've read the ebook.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That makes me happy.

      I do think the audio books bring a different dimension to the storytelling. I'm amazed -- and pleased -- at how many readers who already know and love the books are opting to buy the audio as well.

      Delete
  30. Hi Josh! Long-time reader, first time commenter. I had to chime in because I just finished listening to the audiobook version of Somebody Killed His Editor, and I had to tell you I loved Kevin Free's Kit voice! His entire narration was awesome, but he nailed Kit down so well I had to come here and thank you for picking him and giving us this fantastic audiobook. So, thank you Josh! And if you have any plans of doing an audiobook version of All She Wrote with the same narrator? You have a sale already.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! That's so gratifying to hear because I really try hard to get the right narrators for each story. I'm delighted you're enjoying the results!

      Delete