For a writer/publisher, used to working largely alone except for during the editing process, which compared to the novel writing itself, is a relatively small part of the job, handing over my book, Against a Dark Sky, to another producer who had the task of turning it into an audiobook, was daunting.
I had attempted to undertake the project myself, even going as far as to set up my own home studio. Because I produce my own promotional videos, I had assumed that audiobook production might be similarly achievable for a novice like myself. I was wrong. The technical aspect of the job was beyond me and the narration itself requiring a real skill and talent.
I have been fortunate enough to have worked with the superb actor and voiceover artist, David Monteath. His voice was instantly recognisable to me and he had the expertise to bring the words of the first DCI Dani Bevan novel alive in a way I could never have done. David said himself that his job is purely to bring my story to a new genre, but I think it’s more than that. It is a strange thing to listen to your own words and characters given emotions and humour that the words alone cannot always convey.
This is the difference between a book and a performance. Both methods of storytelling are equally rich and enjoyable but have their own unique characteristics. My first audiobook will be available to download from Audible in due course, time will tell if we decide to repeat the process with the other six books in the series.
It has been an odd experience to hand the work over to someone else for a change. And it is an enormous amount of work to record a book onto audio. But in the meantime, I was able to complete my new book – a standalone psychological thriller called I Trust You. Collaboration has allowed me to get on with the stuff I’m good at and leave the technical tasks to the professionals. It seems like a perfect set up to me.