Creating The Bargain in audio

Cat 243 Doverby Mary Jo

The audiobook of The Bargain has just gone live! My story of the heiress who marries a dying man in order to secure her inheritance–and then he doesn't have the grace to die!–has always been a reader favorite, which is why I thought it worth putting into audio.

Last year I decided to produce my first backlist audio book, Thunder and Roses,I used Thunder and Roses audioACX.com, the audio production arm of Amazon, which brings together producers and potential narrators.  I posted an audition and listened to many samples from different narrators, pulling my hair because they were all good, but who would be the best choice?  

For The Bargain, I found a narrator by pure luck. A fantasy writer friend had met British fantasy author and narrator Emma Newman at a conference, so she sent me a link for possible future use.



I listened to first one clip, then another, then another.  I'm still trying to define what kind of narrator I like, but perhaps the term Listenability fits.  If I want to keep listening no matter what the story is, that's listenability.  The elements include a pleasant voice, a good crisp pace, sufficient inflection for reading different characters, and suitability.  

Bargain audio coverI like Emma's voice, and it occurred to me that she might be just right for The Bargain.  One of the first books I wrote (under an original title ofThe Would Be Widow) it has a lighter feel than most of my later historicals even though the plot has the heroine marrying a dying man in order to keep her inheritance.  The fun comes when her mortally wounded Waterloo office hasn't the grace to die. <G> 

So I contacted Emma about possible narration.  She was interested, and connected me with her sound studio, the Audio Factory in Glastonbury, Somerset.  They were great to work with, the recording went ahead and now the audio is available here.  

Having blogged about the process from my point of view for Thunder and Roses, I thought it would be interesting to ask Emma what narrating a novel is like from her perspective.  So here is a picture of her, and some questions.

SFX233emmanewmanMJP: Emma, I think it must be unusual for an author to be a professional narrator.  How did you happen to end up doing both? Do you thing these two different areas enhance each other?

EN: Back when I had written my first book and was struggling to find an agent or publisher, I hit upon the idea of podcasting my novel by a chapter a week. I was so uncertain about whether I just hadn’t written anything good enough yet or if it was simply a matter of not finding the right person yet that I wanted to get feedback. I didn’t want to put the text online, for obvious reasons, so I recorded it. Completely unexpectedly, I got amazing feedback about my voice and narration, alongside a very positive response to the book which went on to be published. Enough people urged me to look into becoming an audio book narrator too that I created a portfolio and finally built up the courage to audition for an audiobook. I actually ended up getting it! I haven’t looked back since.

BetweenTwoThorns-COVER1-197x300I love narration and I think the two aspects of my career really do enhance each other. I have always read aloud as part of my editing process, and feel that it’s a critical part of determining where the rough spots are and making sure dialogue sounds plausible and authentic. Audio book narration has sharpened my sense of pace within scenes as well as across a book and has also made me focus more on the voices of the characters. It also stops me from including things that are impossible to enunciate well! I feel that if something flows well when read aloud, it flows well in the mind of the reader.

Audio book narration has also helped in terms of author events. Reading aloud is now far more enjoyable than scary (I do still get horribly nervous!) and I feel being able to read your work well aloud helps a great deal when at huge conventions where people just drop in by chance.

MJP:  How do you approach narrating a book?  Do you start with a read through, making mental notes about possible interpretations and pronunciations, or what?

EN:  Yes, the first read through is the time when I get the characters in place. I make notes about any descriptions in the text and form a picture of them in my mind. Then I assign different voices to them in terms of pitch, delivery, accent etc. For example, in The Bargain I wanted Elvira (the antagonist) to sound more harsh and sharp than Jocelyn, the kind of voice that could cut through you (but not too much as people are listening for pleasure after all!). Then in turn, I wanted Jocelyn to sound refined and poised, but not quite as smooth, calm and accomplished as her aunt. And Jocelyn’s voice changes in subtle ways depending on who she is talking to and when, differentiating between situations when she feels excited or in charge etc.

Then I look at pronunciations and tackle them in chunks throughout the book on a second read TheBargain in printthrough. This is partly so I don’t bombard the author with a huge list all at once but also because it helps me to focus on the next bit I’m narrating and ensure I read through at a detailed level rather than when I read for pleasure. Some sections I practise aloud, especially if there is an accent involved. I’ve narrated books with fictional names and locations as well as foreign ones, and always like to check with the author about pronunciation even if I have a fairly good idea already. As an author, I hate the idea of the book’s author listening and thinking ‘but it never sounded like that in my head when I wrote it!’.

That’s another thing that being an author makes me more aware of; as a narrator I am adding a third person into a relationship that usually only has two, namely the author and the reader. The reader interprets the words on the page in their own way, but when a person listens to a book, there is also the narrator’s interpretation added to the mix. I do my best to not get in the way – by having overly theatrical or melodramatic voices for example – and hope that my interpretation compliments that which the author had in mind. Of course, when I’ve had the privilege to narrate my last three novels, I’ve worried about that less!

MJP: What is a studio session like?  I get the feeling that it's a team approach.  How many people are involved, and how much editing must be done?  

Dave PerryEN: There are three of us in the studio; myself in the recording room with headphone, microphone and my Kindle on a music stand (so much better than having to edit out page turn noise!) and on the other side of the glass in the technical room, there’s the director and sound engineer. The director doubles as a proof-listener to ensure I’m word perfect, but also asks for retakes if a line doesn’t sound right. The sound engineer handles the technical side of the recording and annotates his copy of the manuscript with shorthand notes he uses when editing the files after the session in the studio.

For example, if I’ve had to pause to have a sip of water, he notes the time stamp so that can be edited out more efficiently. We record for about six hours a day, usually spread over two weeks so we can have a long weekend in the middle to rest the voice. It is exhausting, as what you narrate is played back to you simultaneously through your headphones. So for hours I’m standing, concentrating intently, doing my best to narrate and gently act the dialogue whilst processing how it sounds all the time and thinking “was that right?” Sometimes I ask for a re-take if I feel I haven’t delivered something well enough having heard it myself.

It is very much a team effort. In one session I had the strangest brain freeze and couldn’t pronounce ‘physician’ correctly after fluffing it in the first take. The guys helped me back on track (and we had a good laugh about it too).  

Audio Factory sound studio

 
MJP: Do you keep a certain professional detachment from the stories you narrate, or do you find yourself getting more emotionally involved with some characters and situations?

EN: In the studio, when narrating, there is a professional detachment. When prepping and especially on the first read-through I let myself get involved more! Narrating a book is like climbing inside it though. I become more keenly aware of structure, character development etc as the recording days go by. At the end of the recording, I feel I know the book so intimately that I do miss (some of!) the characters afterwards. And I did feel I related to Jocelyn so much more after reading her words, especially in the last scene.

The detachment when performing is critical though. Especially when there are raunchy scenes! Being British I am, of course, embarrassed by almost everything, but recording those scenes with a male director and male sound engineer heightens that! Saying that, though, I was so worried I would giggle (I always do that when really embarrassed) during the most graphic parts but no, I think we only had one re-take in all of those scenes. That’s the detachment and concentration, I reckon! 

Emma, thanks so much for taking us inside the recording studio with you!  I've really enjoyed hearing about how an audiobook is made.

Bargain audio coverFor those of you who are audiobook listeners: what makes a narrator special for you?  Are there some who you'd listen to even if they were reading the telephone book?  What might turn you off as you listen?  I'd love to hear, since I'll be doing more audiobooks in the future.

One commenter between now and Tuesday midnight will receive a prize, which may be a free download of Thunder and Roses, or ofThe Bargain, or a print edition of The Bargain.  We'll work it out!

Mary Jo

265 thoughts on “Creating The Bargain in audio”

  1. Just had to pop in right away with a comment because I am such an avid (read “rabid”) audiobook fan! Mary Jo, I loved getting inside the narrator’s head and learning how she approaches the preparation and narration of an audiobook. And Emma, thank you for explaining the process!
    I have a large personal library of audiobooks (around 300+) and I’ve always wondered how the narrator prepares for the reading. Over the years I’ve listened to many narrators. Davina Porter is one of my all-time favorites. I haven’t heard you, Emma, so I am looking forward to the experience.
    Thank you, Mary Jo, for making your backlist available via audiobook. Listening to audiobooks suits my lifestyle, and there’s nothing that makes chores go faster than having a good audiobook to listen to!

    Reply
  2. Just had to pop in right away with a comment because I am such an avid (read “rabid”) audiobook fan! Mary Jo, I loved getting inside the narrator’s head and learning how she approaches the preparation and narration of an audiobook. And Emma, thank you for explaining the process!
    I have a large personal library of audiobooks (around 300+) and I’ve always wondered how the narrator prepares for the reading. Over the years I’ve listened to many narrators. Davina Porter is one of my all-time favorites. I haven’t heard you, Emma, so I am looking forward to the experience.
    Thank you, Mary Jo, for making your backlist available via audiobook. Listening to audiobooks suits my lifestyle, and there’s nothing that makes chores go faster than having a good audiobook to listen to!

    Reply
  3. Just had to pop in right away with a comment because I am such an avid (read “rabid”) audiobook fan! Mary Jo, I loved getting inside the narrator’s head and learning how she approaches the preparation and narration of an audiobook. And Emma, thank you for explaining the process!
    I have a large personal library of audiobooks (around 300+) and I’ve always wondered how the narrator prepares for the reading. Over the years I’ve listened to many narrators. Davina Porter is one of my all-time favorites. I haven’t heard you, Emma, so I am looking forward to the experience.
    Thank you, Mary Jo, for making your backlist available via audiobook. Listening to audiobooks suits my lifestyle, and there’s nothing that makes chores go faster than having a good audiobook to listen to!

    Reply
  4. Just had to pop in right away with a comment because I am such an avid (read “rabid”) audiobook fan! Mary Jo, I loved getting inside the narrator’s head and learning how she approaches the preparation and narration of an audiobook. And Emma, thank you for explaining the process!
    I have a large personal library of audiobooks (around 300+) and I’ve always wondered how the narrator prepares for the reading. Over the years I’ve listened to many narrators. Davina Porter is one of my all-time favorites. I haven’t heard you, Emma, so I am looking forward to the experience.
    Thank you, Mary Jo, for making your backlist available via audiobook. Listening to audiobooks suits my lifestyle, and there’s nothing that makes chores go faster than having a good audiobook to listen to!

    Reply
  5. Just had to pop in right away with a comment because I am such an avid (read “rabid”) audiobook fan! Mary Jo, I loved getting inside the narrator’s head and learning how she approaches the preparation and narration of an audiobook. And Emma, thank you for explaining the process!
    I have a large personal library of audiobooks (around 300+) and I’ve always wondered how the narrator prepares for the reading. Over the years I’ve listened to many narrators. Davina Porter is one of my all-time favorites. I haven’t heard you, Emma, so I am looking forward to the experience.
    Thank you, Mary Jo, for making your backlist available via audiobook. Listening to audiobooks suits my lifestyle, and there’s nothing that makes chores go faster than having a good audiobook to listen to!

    Reply
  6. Mary Jo, thanks for a very interesting and informative interview. I like to listen to a voice that shows emotion in their reading of the story. It makes me feel more like I am in the story myself.

    Reply
  7. Mary Jo, thanks for a very interesting and informative interview. I like to listen to a voice that shows emotion in their reading of the story. It makes me feel more like I am in the story myself.

    Reply
  8. Mary Jo, thanks for a very interesting and informative interview. I like to listen to a voice that shows emotion in their reading of the story. It makes me feel more like I am in the story myself.

    Reply
  9. Mary Jo, thanks for a very interesting and informative interview. I like to listen to a voice that shows emotion in their reading of the story. It makes me feel more like I am in the story myself.

    Reply
  10. Mary Jo, thanks for a very interesting and informative interview. I like to listen to a voice that shows emotion in their reading of the story. It makes me feel more like I am in the story myself.

    Reply
  11. I “tripped” over Emma Newman last year, when a friend of mine, who’s not known to go into full on, frothing at the mouth,fanboy mode,presented me with a copy of her first novel;and the command to “read this, it’s brilliant” 😀 …and it is.So to find that she is narrating audio books..And The Bargain, at that, is wonderful.
    I love audiobooks, I travel a fair amount, and even Radio 4 can be annoying sometimes, so I love to have audiobooks inthe car.At the moment I’m listening to the superb Stephen Fry reading the Harry Potter novels…what a voice !

    Reply
  12. I “tripped” over Emma Newman last year, when a friend of mine, who’s not known to go into full on, frothing at the mouth,fanboy mode,presented me with a copy of her first novel;and the command to “read this, it’s brilliant” 😀 …and it is.So to find that she is narrating audio books..And The Bargain, at that, is wonderful.
    I love audiobooks, I travel a fair amount, and even Radio 4 can be annoying sometimes, so I love to have audiobooks inthe car.At the moment I’m listening to the superb Stephen Fry reading the Harry Potter novels…what a voice !

    Reply
  13. I “tripped” over Emma Newman last year, when a friend of mine, who’s not known to go into full on, frothing at the mouth,fanboy mode,presented me with a copy of her first novel;and the command to “read this, it’s brilliant” 😀 …and it is.So to find that she is narrating audio books..And The Bargain, at that, is wonderful.
    I love audiobooks, I travel a fair amount, and even Radio 4 can be annoying sometimes, so I love to have audiobooks inthe car.At the moment I’m listening to the superb Stephen Fry reading the Harry Potter novels…what a voice !

    Reply
  14. I “tripped” over Emma Newman last year, when a friend of mine, who’s not known to go into full on, frothing at the mouth,fanboy mode,presented me with a copy of her first novel;and the command to “read this, it’s brilliant” 😀 …and it is.So to find that she is narrating audio books..And The Bargain, at that, is wonderful.
    I love audiobooks, I travel a fair amount, and even Radio 4 can be annoying sometimes, so I love to have audiobooks inthe car.At the moment I’m listening to the superb Stephen Fry reading the Harry Potter novels…what a voice !

    Reply
  15. I “tripped” over Emma Newman last year, when a friend of mine, who’s not known to go into full on, frothing at the mouth,fanboy mode,presented me with a copy of her first novel;and the command to “read this, it’s brilliant” 😀 …and it is.So to find that she is narrating audio books..And The Bargain, at that, is wonderful.
    I love audiobooks, I travel a fair amount, and even Radio 4 can be annoying sometimes, so I love to have audiobooks inthe car.At the moment I’m listening to the superb Stephen Fry reading the Harry Potter novels…what a voice !

    Reply
  16. I listen to quite a few audiobooks, and if the story holds me, most narrators are OK. There is one woman who came very near ruining a few books by a favorite author by being like one of those kids who made it excruciating when we read aloud in elementary, by pausing at the end of lines on a page, not at periods. But I have, with trepidation, listened to her with another favorite author, and she was better, so maybe she just didn’t have enough time to prepare.
    Then there’s the guy I heard reading _Walden_ who thought it was a race, and he would win it by reading as fast as he could, with no pauses whatsoever! Only audiobook I ever turned back into the library after only two pages.
    So I appreciate a mellifluous voice, and the amazing work with accents and multi-person dialogs that some readers do so well. But it’s enough just to not get in the way of the author’s story.
    Thanks for the interview.

    Reply
  17. I listen to quite a few audiobooks, and if the story holds me, most narrators are OK. There is one woman who came very near ruining a few books by a favorite author by being like one of those kids who made it excruciating when we read aloud in elementary, by pausing at the end of lines on a page, not at periods. But I have, with trepidation, listened to her with another favorite author, and she was better, so maybe she just didn’t have enough time to prepare.
    Then there’s the guy I heard reading _Walden_ who thought it was a race, and he would win it by reading as fast as he could, with no pauses whatsoever! Only audiobook I ever turned back into the library after only two pages.
    So I appreciate a mellifluous voice, and the amazing work with accents and multi-person dialogs that some readers do so well. But it’s enough just to not get in the way of the author’s story.
    Thanks for the interview.

    Reply
  18. I listen to quite a few audiobooks, and if the story holds me, most narrators are OK. There is one woman who came very near ruining a few books by a favorite author by being like one of those kids who made it excruciating when we read aloud in elementary, by pausing at the end of lines on a page, not at periods. But I have, with trepidation, listened to her with another favorite author, and she was better, so maybe she just didn’t have enough time to prepare.
    Then there’s the guy I heard reading _Walden_ who thought it was a race, and he would win it by reading as fast as he could, with no pauses whatsoever! Only audiobook I ever turned back into the library after only two pages.
    So I appreciate a mellifluous voice, and the amazing work with accents and multi-person dialogs that some readers do so well. But it’s enough just to not get in the way of the author’s story.
    Thanks for the interview.

    Reply
  19. I listen to quite a few audiobooks, and if the story holds me, most narrators are OK. There is one woman who came very near ruining a few books by a favorite author by being like one of those kids who made it excruciating when we read aloud in elementary, by pausing at the end of lines on a page, not at periods. But I have, with trepidation, listened to her with another favorite author, and she was better, so maybe she just didn’t have enough time to prepare.
    Then there’s the guy I heard reading _Walden_ who thought it was a race, and he would win it by reading as fast as he could, with no pauses whatsoever! Only audiobook I ever turned back into the library after only two pages.
    So I appreciate a mellifluous voice, and the amazing work with accents and multi-person dialogs that some readers do so well. But it’s enough just to not get in the way of the author’s story.
    Thanks for the interview.

    Reply
  20. I listen to quite a few audiobooks, and if the story holds me, most narrators are OK. There is one woman who came very near ruining a few books by a favorite author by being like one of those kids who made it excruciating when we read aloud in elementary, by pausing at the end of lines on a page, not at periods. But I have, with trepidation, listened to her with another favorite author, and she was better, so maybe she just didn’t have enough time to prepare.
    Then there’s the guy I heard reading _Walden_ who thought it was a race, and he would win it by reading as fast as he could, with no pauses whatsoever! Only audiobook I ever turned back into the library after only two pages.
    So I appreciate a mellifluous voice, and the amazing work with accents and multi-person dialogs that some readers do so well. But it’s enough just to not get in the way of the author’s story.
    Thanks for the interview.

    Reply
  21. Thank you for a fascinating interview! I love audiobooks, and listen to them both in the car and while I’m doing anything at all mundane like cooking, hanging the washing etc.. They’re also great for knitting, which I don’t find interesting enough on its own.
    I’m so pleased to see you taking care in selecting the narrator. It makes all the difference, but some publishers seem to have an odd selection system. For me, the worst thing is getting someone with the wrong accent, and this is usually when they engage an American to do an English accent. He or she may sound great to another American, but an English listener can usually tell within minutes, if not straight away, and then I find it really grates. One of my favourite authors writes books set in the North-East, so they got an American to do a Geordie accent! Impossible for him to do or for me to listen to. But the one which annoyed me most was getting an American to read in American a book which is completely Australian. It isn’t just incidentally set there; it stars an Aussie rules footballer! Why do that? There are one or two Australian actors they could have used.
    And it does sound very odd to hear a Regency set in England narrated in American, which I have also come across. Or in American faking an English accent, which is actually worse. I won\t listen to either again – I want genuine English accents.
    Sometimes the English accent isn’t quite posh enough for the book – for Regencies set in the haut ton one would expect a cut-glass accent, in the old style! But as long as the accent isn’t too broad that’s a minor niggle.
    Sorry for the rant, but you did ask… Apart from choice of narrator based on true and appropriate nationality and accent, I don’t actually mind whether the narrator differentiates between character voices, as seems to be almost de rigueur now. I’m used to the old-style reading of the Heyer novels, and I’m quite happy with that.
    I’m not keen on music in audiobooks – some have it coming in to mark the beginning of a chapter, and I prefer not. It often breaks the mood, or is at the wrong volume.
    Keep up the good work! Emma sounds great in the sample I listened to.

    Reply
  22. Thank you for a fascinating interview! I love audiobooks, and listen to them both in the car and while I’m doing anything at all mundane like cooking, hanging the washing etc.. They’re also great for knitting, which I don’t find interesting enough on its own.
    I’m so pleased to see you taking care in selecting the narrator. It makes all the difference, but some publishers seem to have an odd selection system. For me, the worst thing is getting someone with the wrong accent, and this is usually when they engage an American to do an English accent. He or she may sound great to another American, but an English listener can usually tell within minutes, if not straight away, and then I find it really grates. One of my favourite authors writes books set in the North-East, so they got an American to do a Geordie accent! Impossible for him to do or for me to listen to. But the one which annoyed me most was getting an American to read in American a book which is completely Australian. It isn’t just incidentally set there; it stars an Aussie rules footballer! Why do that? There are one or two Australian actors they could have used.
    And it does sound very odd to hear a Regency set in England narrated in American, which I have also come across. Or in American faking an English accent, which is actually worse. I won\t listen to either again – I want genuine English accents.
    Sometimes the English accent isn’t quite posh enough for the book – for Regencies set in the haut ton one would expect a cut-glass accent, in the old style! But as long as the accent isn’t too broad that’s a minor niggle.
    Sorry for the rant, but you did ask… Apart from choice of narrator based on true and appropriate nationality and accent, I don’t actually mind whether the narrator differentiates between character voices, as seems to be almost de rigueur now. I’m used to the old-style reading of the Heyer novels, and I’m quite happy with that.
    I’m not keen on music in audiobooks – some have it coming in to mark the beginning of a chapter, and I prefer not. It often breaks the mood, or is at the wrong volume.
    Keep up the good work! Emma sounds great in the sample I listened to.

    Reply
  23. Thank you for a fascinating interview! I love audiobooks, and listen to them both in the car and while I’m doing anything at all mundane like cooking, hanging the washing etc.. They’re also great for knitting, which I don’t find interesting enough on its own.
    I’m so pleased to see you taking care in selecting the narrator. It makes all the difference, but some publishers seem to have an odd selection system. For me, the worst thing is getting someone with the wrong accent, and this is usually when they engage an American to do an English accent. He or she may sound great to another American, but an English listener can usually tell within minutes, if not straight away, and then I find it really grates. One of my favourite authors writes books set in the North-East, so they got an American to do a Geordie accent! Impossible for him to do or for me to listen to. But the one which annoyed me most was getting an American to read in American a book which is completely Australian. It isn’t just incidentally set there; it stars an Aussie rules footballer! Why do that? There are one or two Australian actors they could have used.
    And it does sound very odd to hear a Regency set in England narrated in American, which I have also come across. Or in American faking an English accent, which is actually worse. I won\t listen to either again – I want genuine English accents.
    Sometimes the English accent isn’t quite posh enough for the book – for Regencies set in the haut ton one would expect a cut-glass accent, in the old style! But as long as the accent isn’t too broad that’s a minor niggle.
    Sorry for the rant, but you did ask… Apart from choice of narrator based on true and appropriate nationality and accent, I don’t actually mind whether the narrator differentiates between character voices, as seems to be almost de rigueur now. I’m used to the old-style reading of the Heyer novels, and I’m quite happy with that.
    I’m not keen on music in audiobooks – some have it coming in to mark the beginning of a chapter, and I prefer not. It often breaks the mood, or is at the wrong volume.
    Keep up the good work! Emma sounds great in the sample I listened to.

    Reply
  24. Thank you for a fascinating interview! I love audiobooks, and listen to them both in the car and while I’m doing anything at all mundane like cooking, hanging the washing etc.. They’re also great for knitting, which I don’t find interesting enough on its own.
    I’m so pleased to see you taking care in selecting the narrator. It makes all the difference, but some publishers seem to have an odd selection system. For me, the worst thing is getting someone with the wrong accent, and this is usually when they engage an American to do an English accent. He or she may sound great to another American, but an English listener can usually tell within minutes, if not straight away, and then I find it really grates. One of my favourite authors writes books set in the North-East, so they got an American to do a Geordie accent! Impossible for him to do or for me to listen to. But the one which annoyed me most was getting an American to read in American a book which is completely Australian. It isn’t just incidentally set there; it stars an Aussie rules footballer! Why do that? There are one or two Australian actors they could have used.
    And it does sound very odd to hear a Regency set in England narrated in American, which I have also come across. Or in American faking an English accent, which is actually worse. I won\t listen to either again – I want genuine English accents.
    Sometimes the English accent isn’t quite posh enough for the book – for Regencies set in the haut ton one would expect a cut-glass accent, in the old style! But as long as the accent isn’t too broad that’s a minor niggle.
    Sorry for the rant, but you did ask… Apart from choice of narrator based on true and appropriate nationality and accent, I don’t actually mind whether the narrator differentiates between character voices, as seems to be almost de rigueur now. I’m used to the old-style reading of the Heyer novels, and I’m quite happy with that.
    I’m not keen on music in audiobooks – some have it coming in to mark the beginning of a chapter, and I prefer not. It often breaks the mood, or is at the wrong volume.
    Keep up the good work! Emma sounds great in the sample I listened to.

    Reply
  25. Thank you for a fascinating interview! I love audiobooks, and listen to them both in the car and while I’m doing anything at all mundane like cooking, hanging the washing etc.. They’re also great for knitting, which I don’t find interesting enough on its own.
    I’m so pleased to see you taking care in selecting the narrator. It makes all the difference, but some publishers seem to have an odd selection system. For me, the worst thing is getting someone with the wrong accent, and this is usually when they engage an American to do an English accent. He or she may sound great to another American, but an English listener can usually tell within minutes, if not straight away, and then I find it really grates. One of my favourite authors writes books set in the North-East, so they got an American to do a Geordie accent! Impossible for him to do or for me to listen to. But the one which annoyed me most was getting an American to read in American a book which is completely Australian. It isn’t just incidentally set there; it stars an Aussie rules footballer! Why do that? There are one or two Australian actors they could have used.
    And it does sound very odd to hear a Regency set in England narrated in American, which I have also come across. Or in American faking an English accent, which is actually worse. I won\t listen to either again – I want genuine English accents.
    Sometimes the English accent isn’t quite posh enough for the book – for Regencies set in the haut ton one would expect a cut-glass accent, in the old style! But as long as the accent isn’t too broad that’s a minor niggle.
    Sorry for the rant, but you did ask… Apart from choice of narrator based on true and appropriate nationality and accent, I don’t actually mind whether the narrator differentiates between character voices, as seems to be almost de rigueur now. I’m used to the old-style reading of the Heyer novels, and I’m quite happy with that.
    I’m not keen on music in audiobooks – some have it coming in to mark the beginning of a chapter, and I prefer not. It often breaks the mood, or is at the wrong volume.
    Keep up the good work! Emma sounds great in the sample I listened to.

    Reply
  26. I love it when the narrator takes on different voices for the dialog. It add more interest for me. Some narrators do this remarkably well.

    Reply
  27. I love it when the narrator takes on different voices for the dialog. It add more interest for me. Some narrators do this remarkably well.

    Reply
  28. I love it when the narrator takes on different voices for the dialog. It add more interest for me. Some narrators do this remarkably well.

    Reply
  29. I love it when the narrator takes on different voices for the dialog. It add more interest for me. Some narrators do this remarkably well.

    Reply
  30. I love it when the narrator takes on different voices for the dialog. It add more interest for me. Some narrators do this remarkably well.

    Reply
  31. Narrators are the most critical piece of the production of an audiobook, I think. My favorite narrators (currently Kate Reading, Rosalyn Landor, Simon Prebble, Kristen Potter–to name the top few)have the talent to bring to life all the characters in a book, both male and female, and keep me listening even when the book itself may be one I already have read in print. Their interpretations give new life to familiar favorites. I am thrilled to find that you are producing audiobooks of some of your backlist.

    Reply
  32. Narrators are the most critical piece of the production of an audiobook, I think. My favorite narrators (currently Kate Reading, Rosalyn Landor, Simon Prebble, Kristen Potter–to name the top few)have the talent to bring to life all the characters in a book, both male and female, and keep me listening even when the book itself may be one I already have read in print. Their interpretations give new life to familiar favorites. I am thrilled to find that you are producing audiobooks of some of your backlist.

    Reply
  33. Narrators are the most critical piece of the production of an audiobook, I think. My favorite narrators (currently Kate Reading, Rosalyn Landor, Simon Prebble, Kristen Potter–to name the top few)have the talent to bring to life all the characters in a book, both male and female, and keep me listening even when the book itself may be one I already have read in print. Their interpretations give new life to familiar favorites. I am thrilled to find that you are producing audiobooks of some of your backlist.

    Reply
  34. Narrators are the most critical piece of the production of an audiobook, I think. My favorite narrators (currently Kate Reading, Rosalyn Landor, Simon Prebble, Kristen Potter–to name the top few)have the talent to bring to life all the characters in a book, both male and female, and keep me listening even when the book itself may be one I already have read in print. Their interpretations give new life to familiar favorites. I am thrilled to find that you are producing audiobooks of some of your backlist.

    Reply
  35. Narrators are the most critical piece of the production of an audiobook, I think. My favorite narrators (currently Kate Reading, Rosalyn Landor, Simon Prebble, Kristen Potter–to name the top few)have the talent to bring to life all the characters in a book, both male and female, and keep me listening even when the book itself may be one I already have read in print. Their interpretations give new life to familiar favorites. I am thrilled to find that you are producing audiobooks of some of your backlist.

    Reply
  36. I believe making the book as wonderful as the author planned and to make that same book listenable for so many different types of listeners, must be one of the most difficult things ever tried. I thank you for letting me see….it is probably even more difficult than I thought.

    Reply
  37. I believe making the book as wonderful as the author planned and to make that same book listenable for so many different types of listeners, must be one of the most difficult things ever tried. I thank you for letting me see….it is probably even more difficult than I thought.

    Reply
  38. I believe making the book as wonderful as the author planned and to make that same book listenable for so many different types of listeners, must be one of the most difficult things ever tried. I thank you for letting me see….it is probably even more difficult than I thought.

    Reply
  39. I believe making the book as wonderful as the author planned and to make that same book listenable for so many different types of listeners, must be one of the most difficult things ever tried. I thank you for letting me see….it is probably even more difficult than I thought.

    Reply
  40. I believe making the book as wonderful as the author planned and to make that same book listenable for so many different types of listeners, must be one of the most difficult things ever tried. I thank you for letting me see….it is probably even more difficult than I thought.

    Reply
  41. HJ, I TOTALLY agree about making the effort to find the right narrator! I’ve chosen British narrators for both of the audio books I’ve produced because I know that Brits often don’t do good American accents, and I suspect that Americans doing British accents sounds equally off. Luckily, there are lots of great British born narrators available.

    Reply
  42. HJ, I TOTALLY agree about making the effort to find the right narrator! I’ve chosen British narrators for both of the audio books I’ve produced because I know that Brits often don’t do good American accents, and I suspect that Americans doing British accents sounds equally off. Luckily, there are lots of great British born narrators available.

    Reply
  43. HJ, I TOTALLY agree about making the effort to find the right narrator! I’ve chosen British narrators for both of the audio books I’ve produced because I know that Brits often don’t do good American accents, and I suspect that Americans doing British accents sounds equally off. Luckily, there are lots of great British born narrators available.

    Reply
  44. HJ, I TOTALLY agree about making the effort to find the right narrator! I’ve chosen British narrators for both of the audio books I’ve produced because I know that Brits often don’t do good American accents, and I suspect that Americans doing British accents sounds equally off. Luckily, there are lots of great British born narrators available.

    Reply
  45. HJ, I TOTALLY agree about making the effort to find the right narrator! I’ve chosen British narrators for both of the audio books I’ve produced because I know that Brits often don’t do good American accents, and I suspect that Americans doing British accents sounds equally off. Luckily, there are lots of great British born narrators available.

    Reply
  46. Karin–
    The books are similar but not identical. I revised The Widow into a historical by smoothing my verbose Heyerisms, narrowing points of view, and expanding a subplot or two. It’s certainly the same story, though.

    Reply
  47. Karin–
    The books are similar but not identical. I revised The Widow into a historical by smoothing my verbose Heyerisms, narrowing points of view, and expanding a subplot or two. It’s certainly the same story, though.

    Reply
  48. Karin–
    The books are similar but not identical. I revised The Widow into a historical by smoothing my verbose Heyerisms, narrowing points of view, and expanding a subplot or two. It’s certainly the same story, though.

    Reply
  49. Karin–
    The books are similar but not identical. I revised The Widow into a historical by smoothing my verbose Heyerisms, narrowing points of view, and expanding a subplot or two. It’s certainly the same story, though.

    Reply
  50. Karin–
    The books are similar but not identical. I revised The Widow into a historical by smoothing my verbose Heyerisms, narrowing points of view, and expanding a subplot or two. It’s certainly the same story, though.

    Reply
  51. I agree, the narrator makes or breaks a book for me. Simon Prebble and Davina Porter as mentioned earlier are great. I’ll listen to them any day. I also love to listen to Barbara Rosenblat, Lisa Burget (read Winter Solstice), George Guidall (all the Cat Who books).
    Since I’m American I don’t notice when an English voice isn’t right or not. But if a book is read in a southern accent and it is wrong, I do notice (since I am from the south) and it causes me to go ugghhh. So I agree on that point, it grates when the “wrong” accent is used.
    And definitely having a reader who can differentiate between characters helps the listener “see” who is listening.
    There was one series I listened to (Jan Karon’s Mitford books) that used the same narrator the entire way through, except on the last book. I couldn’t stand the reader so abandoned the audiobook and went and checked out the book just to find out what happened.
    I think that is one reason I’ve enjoyed the Mrs. Pollifax and Hamish Macbeth series so much, they kept the same narrator so the visual/audio image stayed the same.
    Emma’s comment about reading her book aloud during editing makes sense. I remember my sister saying she hated reading books to her kids that weren’t smooth. After that, when I choose books for small children, I’ve taken the time to read all the words because you didn’t want their mothers and fathers to think bad thoughts about me while reading a book to their kids. The illustrations might be wonderful but if the words are “bad” and they are reading the book for the 50th time…

    Reply
  52. I agree, the narrator makes or breaks a book for me. Simon Prebble and Davina Porter as mentioned earlier are great. I’ll listen to them any day. I also love to listen to Barbara Rosenblat, Lisa Burget (read Winter Solstice), George Guidall (all the Cat Who books).
    Since I’m American I don’t notice when an English voice isn’t right or not. But if a book is read in a southern accent and it is wrong, I do notice (since I am from the south) and it causes me to go ugghhh. So I agree on that point, it grates when the “wrong” accent is used.
    And definitely having a reader who can differentiate between characters helps the listener “see” who is listening.
    There was one series I listened to (Jan Karon’s Mitford books) that used the same narrator the entire way through, except on the last book. I couldn’t stand the reader so abandoned the audiobook and went and checked out the book just to find out what happened.
    I think that is one reason I’ve enjoyed the Mrs. Pollifax and Hamish Macbeth series so much, they kept the same narrator so the visual/audio image stayed the same.
    Emma’s comment about reading her book aloud during editing makes sense. I remember my sister saying she hated reading books to her kids that weren’t smooth. After that, when I choose books for small children, I’ve taken the time to read all the words because you didn’t want their mothers and fathers to think bad thoughts about me while reading a book to their kids. The illustrations might be wonderful but if the words are “bad” and they are reading the book for the 50th time…

    Reply
  53. I agree, the narrator makes or breaks a book for me. Simon Prebble and Davina Porter as mentioned earlier are great. I’ll listen to them any day. I also love to listen to Barbara Rosenblat, Lisa Burget (read Winter Solstice), George Guidall (all the Cat Who books).
    Since I’m American I don’t notice when an English voice isn’t right or not. But if a book is read in a southern accent and it is wrong, I do notice (since I am from the south) and it causes me to go ugghhh. So I agree on that point, it grates when the “wrong” accent is used.
    And definitely having a reader who can differentiate between characters helps the listener “see” who is listening.
    There was one series I listened to (Jan Karon’s Mitford books) that used the same narrator the entire way through, except on the last book. I couldn’t stand the reader so abandoned the audiobook and went and checked out the book just to find out what happened.
    I think that is one reason I’ve enjoyed the Mrs. Pollifax and Hamish Macbeth series so much, they kept the same narrator so the visual/audio image stayed the same.
    Emma’s comment about reading her book aloud during editing makes sense. I remember my sister saying she hated reading books to her kids that weren’t smooth. After that, when I choose books for small children, I’ve taken the time to read all the words because you didn’t want their mothers and fathers to think bad thoughts about me while reading a book to their kids. The illustrations might be wonderful but if the words are “bad” and they are reading the book for the 50th time…

    Reply
  54. I agree, the narrator makes or breaks a book for me. Simon Prebble and Davina Porter as mentioned earlier are great. I’ll listen to them any day. I also love to listen to Barbara Rosenblat, Lisa Burget (read Winter Solstice), George Guidall (all the Cat Who books).
    Since I’m American I don’t notice when an English voice isn’t right or not. But if a book is read in a southern accent and it is wrong, I do notice (since I am from the south) and it causes me to go ugghhh. So I agree on that point, it grates when the “wrong” accent is used.
    And definitely having a reader who can differentiate between characters helps the listener “see” who is listening.
    There was one series I listened to (Jan Karon’s Mitford books) that used the same narrator the entire way through, except on the last book. I couldn’t stand the reader so abandoned the audiobook and went and checked out the book just to find out what happened.
    I think that is one reason I’ve enjoyed the Mrs. Pollifax and Hamish Macbeth series so much, they kept the same narrator so the visual/audio image stayed the same.
    Emma’s comment about reading her book aloud during editing makes sense. I remember my sister saying she hated reading books to her kids that weren’t smooth. After that, when I choose books for small children, I’ve taken the time to read all the words because you didn’t want their mothers and fathers to think bad thoughts about me while reading a book to their kids. The illustrations might be wonderful but if the words are “bad” and they are reading the book for the 50th time…

    Reply
  55. I agree, the narrator makes or breaks a book for me. Simon Prebble and Davina Porter as mentioned earlier are great. I’ll listen to them any day. I also love to listen to Barbara Rosenblat, Lisa Burget (read Winter Solstice), George Guidall (all the Cat Who books).
    Since I’m American I don’t notice when an English voice isn’t right or not. But if a book is read in a southern accent and it is wrong, I do notice (since I am from the south) and it causes me to go ugghhh. So I agree on that point, it grates when the “wrong” accent is used.
    And definitely having a reader who can differentiate between characters helps the listener “see” who is listening.
    There was one series I listened to (Jan Karon’s Mitford books) that used the same narrator the entire way through, except on the last book. I couldn’t stand the reader so abandoned the audiobook and went and checked out the book just to find out what happened.
    I think that is one reason I’ve enjoyed the Mrs. Pollifax and Hamish Macbeth series so much, they kept the same narrator so the visual/audio image stayed the same.
    Emma’s comment about reading her book aloud during editing makes sense. I remember my sister saying she hated reading books to her kids that weren’t smooth. After that, when I choose books for small children, I’ve taken the time to read all the words because you didn’t want their mothers and fathers to think bad thoughts about me while reading a book to their kids. The illustrations might be wonderful but if the words are “bad” and they are reading the book for the 50th time…

    Reply
  56. I am only recently getting into the audiobooks. I had the audio versions of Harry Potter and they were fabulous. I feel the narrator’s interpretation of the character and their voice adds an interesting dimension to characters that we have already experienced in the reading format. It is tricky and I am so glad that allowed us a glimpse into how they are created. Seems so much more complex and theoretical. But listening to an audiobook.. especially one as popular as Thunder and Roses should be interesting.

    Reply
  57. I am only recently getting into the audiobooks. I had the audio versions of Harry Potter and they were fabulous. I feel the narrator’s interpretation of the character and their voice adds an interesting dimension to characters that we have already experienced in the reading format. It is tricky and I am so glad that allowed us a glimpse into how they are created. Seems so much more complex and theoretical. But listening to an audiobook.. especially one as popular as Thunder and Roses should be interesting.

    Reply
  58. I am only recently getting into the audiobooks. I had the audio versions of Harry Potter and they were fabulous. I feel the narrator’s interpretation of the character and their voice adds an interesting dimension to characters that we have already experienced in the reading format. It is tricky and I am so glad that allowed us a glimpse into how they are created. Seems so much more complex and theoretical. But listening to an audiobook.. especially one as popular as Thunder and Roses should be interesting.

    Reply
  59. I am only recently getting into the audiobooks. I had the audio versions of Harry Potter and they were fabulous. I feel the narrator’s interpretation of the character and their voice adds an interesting dimension to characters that we have already experienced in the reading format. It is tricky and I am so glad that allowed us a glimpse into how they are created. Seems so much more complex and theoretical. But listening to an audiobook.. especially one as popular as Thunder and Roses should be interesting.

    Reply
  60. I am only recently getting into the audiobooks. I had the audio versions of Harry Potter and they were fabulous. I feel the narrator’s interpretation of the character and their voice adds an interesting dimension to characters that we have already experienced in the reading format. It is tricky and I am so glad that allowed us a glimpse into how they are created. Seems so much more complex and theoretical. But listening to an audiobook.. especially one as popular as Thunder and Roses should be interesting.

    Reply
  61. I tried audio books many times since the late 80’s I always could not finish the book due to the narrators.
    The accents were false or the men’s voice did not sound like men and the same with the women’s voices.
    I did not try anything but biographies in audio for years. (Loved and now miss Tim Russert)
    Then last year I tried fiction again. I agree wih many about Barbara Rosenblat and others. I enjoy Holter Graham, Susan Erickson, Khristine Hvam among them.
    I hate it when narrators try to do the opposite sexes voice and their voice grates on hearing them. I like it better if they just read the book changing the pitch for voices.
    My other pet peeve is when the narrator reads the book without the punctuation. No pauses, rising in voices, questions not sounding like questions. Read the book as written!

    Reply
  62. I tried audio books many times since the late 80’s I always could not finish the book due to the narrators.
    The accents were false or the men’s voice did not sound like men and the same with the women’s voices.
    I did not try anything but biographies in audio for years. (Loved and now miss Tim Russert)
    Then last year I tried fiction again. I agree wih many about Barbara Rosenblat and others. I enjoy Holter Graham, Susan Erickson, Khristine Hvam among them.
    I hate it when narrators try to do the opposite sexes voice and their voice grates on hearing them. I like it better if they just read the book changing the pitch for voices.
    My other pet peeve is when the narrator reads the book without the punctuation. No pauses, rising in voices, questions not sounding like questions. Read the book as written!

    Reply
  63. I tried audio books many times since the late 80’s I always could not finish the book due to the narrators.
    The accents were false or the men’s voice did not sound like men and the same with the women’s voices.
    I did not try anything but biographies in audio for years. (Loved and now miss Tim Russert)
    Then last year I tried fiction again. I agree wih many about Barbara Rosenblat and others. I enjoy Holter Graham, Susan Erickson, Khristine Hvam among them.
    I hate it when narrators try to do the opposite sexes voice and their voice grates on hearing them. I like it better if they just read the book changing the pitch for voices.
    My other pet peeve is when the narrator reads the book without the punctuation. No pauses, rising in voices, questions not sounding like questions. Read the book as written!

    Reply
  64. I tried audio books many times since the late 80’s I always could not finish the book due to the narrators.
    The accents were false or the men’s voice did not sound like men and the same with the women’s voices.
    I did not try anything but biographies in audio for years. (Loved and now miss Tim Russert)
    Then last year I tried fiction again. I agree wih many about Barbara Rosenblat and others. I enjoy Holter Graham, Susan Erickson, Khristine Hvam among them.
    I hate it when narrators try to do the opposite sexes voice and their voice grates on hearing them. I like it better if they just read the book changing the pitch for voices.
    My other pet peeve is when the narrator reads the book without the punctuation. No pauses, rising in voices, questions not sounding like questions. Read the book as written!

    Reply
  65. I tried audio books many times since the late 80’s I always could not finish the book due to the narrators.
    The accents were false or the men’s voice did not sound like men and the same with the women’s voices.
    I did not try anything but biographies in audio for years. (Loved and now miss Tim Russert)
    Then last year I tried fiction again. I agree wih many about Barbara Rosenblat and others. I enjoy Holter Graham, Susan Erickson, Khristine Hvam among them.
    I hate it when narrators try to do the opposite sexes voice and their voice grates on hearing them. I like it better if they just read the book changing the pitch for voices.
    My other pet peeve is when the narrator reads the book without the punctuation. No pauses, rising in voices, questions not sounding like questions. Read the book as written!

    Reply
  66. I love audiobooks, I could drive to work without them.
    My favorite narrators are Phil Gigante, Rosalyn Landor,
    Simon Prebble and Ann Flosnik. I think the narrator is essential to bring the book to life. A couple of times I have stopped listening because I can’t get past the voice. I have read The Bargain and loved it.
    I would love to listen to the audiobook and relive it!

    Reply
  67. I love audiobooks, I could drive to work without them.
    My favorite narrators are Phil Gigante, Rosalyn Landor,
    Simon Prebble and Ann Flosnik. I think the narrator is essential to bring the book to life. A couple of times I have stopped listening because I can’t get past the voice. I have read The Bargain and loved it.
    I would love to listen to the audiobook and relive it!

    Reply
  68. I love audiobooks, I could drive to work without them.
    My favorite narrators are Phil Gigante, Rosalyn Landor,
    Simon Prebble and Ann Flosnik. I think the narrator is essential to bring the book to life. A couple of times I have stopped listening because I can’t get past the voice. I have read The Bargain and loved it.
    I would love to listen to the audiobook and relive it!

    Reply
  69. I love audiobooks, I could drive to work without them.
    My favorite narrators are Phil Gigante, Rosalyn Landor,
    Simon Prebble and Ann Flosnik. I think the narrator is essential to bring the book to life. A couple of times I have stopped listening because I can’t get past the voice. I have read The Bargain and loved it.
    I would love to listen to the audiobook and relive it!

    Reply
  70. I love audiobooks, I could drive to work without them.
    My favorite narrators are Phil Gigante, Rosalyn Landor,
    Simon Prebble and Ann Flosnik. I think the narrator is essential to bring the book to life. A couple of times I have stopped listening because I can’t get past the voice. I have read The Bargain and loved it.
    I would love to listen to the audiobook and relive it!

    Reply
  71. I have just started listening to audiobooks and I find them very soothing after an awful day at work. Thank you for some fascinating insights into how it is done. And I do LOVE The Bargain, one of my favorites of yours, Mary Jo.
    I wonder if narrators run into the same oddity as singers. When I listen to recordings of myself singing my voice sounds SO different than what I hear. Do narrators encounter the same quirk?

    Reply
  72. I have just started listening to audiobooks and I find them very soothing after an awful day at work. Thank you for some fascinating insights into how it is done. And I do LOVE The Bargain, one of my favorites of yours, Mary Jo.
    I wonder if narrators run into the same oddity as singers. When I listen to recordings of myself singing my voice sounds SO different than what I hear. Do narrators encounter the same quirk?

    Reply
  73. I have just started listening to audiobooks and I find them very soothing after an awful day at work. Thank you for some fascinating insights into how it is done. And I do LOVE The Bargain, one of my favorites of yours, Mary Jo.
    I wonder if narrators run into the same oddity as singers. When I listen to recordings of myself singing my voice sounds SO different than what I hear. Do narrators encounter the same quirk?

    Reply
  74. I have just started listening to audiobooks and I find them very soothing after an awful day at work. Thank you for some fascinating insights into how it is done. And I do LOVE The Bargain, one of my favorites of yours, Mary Jo.
    I wonder if narrators run into the same oddity as singers. When I listen to recordings of myself singing my voice sounds SO different than what I hear. Do narrators encounter the same quirk?

    Reply
  75. I have just started listening to audiobooks and I find them very soothing after an awful day at work. Thank you for some fascinating insights into how it is done. And I do LOVE The Bargain, one of my favorites of yours, Mary Jo.
    I wonder if narrators run into the same oddity as singers. When I listen to recordings of myself singing my voice sounds SO different than what I hear. Do narrators encounter the same quirk?

    Reply
  76. HJP–
    A agree that it’s usually best if a narrator doesn’t try to sound like a character of the opposite genre–the effect is almost always wrong. Subtler changes in the intonation usually do the job much better.

    Reply
  77. HJP–
    A agree that it’s usually best if a narrator doesn’t try to sound like a character of the opposite genre–the effect is almost always wrong. Subtler changes in the intonation usually do the job much better.

    Reply
  78. HJP–
    A agree that it’s usually best if a narrator doesn’t try to sound like a character of the opposite genre–the effect is almost always wrong. Subtler changes in the intonation usually do the job much better.

    Reply
  79. HJP–
    A agree that it’s usually best if a narrator doesn’t try to sound like a character of the opposite genre–the effect is almost always wrong. Subtler changes in the intonation usually do the job much better.

    Reply
  80. HJP–
    A agree that it’s usually best if a narrator doesn’t try to sound like a character of the opposite genre–the effect is almost always wrong. Subtler changes in the intonation usually do the job much better.

    Reply
  81. Roseanna–
    I’ve also quit audiobooks when a voice is just SO WRONG! Usually bios and memoirs read by the author are good, like Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes. But I couldn’t stand listening to an author read her memoir of European life in the most godawful, draggy Southern accent. I can like a Southern accent just fine, but she was way too slow. and the accent really didn’t fit the material.

    Reply
  82. Roseanna–
    I’ve also quit audiobooks when a voice is just SO WRONG! Usually bios and memoirs read by the author are good, like Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes. But I couldn’t stand listening to an author read her memoir of European life in the most godawful, draggy Southern accent. I can like a Southern accent just fine, but she was way too slow. and the accent really didn’t fit the material.

    Reply
  83. Roseanna–
    I’ve also quit audiobooks when a voice is just SO WRONG! Usually bios and memoirs read by the author are good, like Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes. But I couldn’t stand listening to an author read her memoir of European life in the most godawful, draggy Southern accent. I can like a Southern accent just fine, but she was way too slow. and the accent really didn’t fit the material.

    Reply
  84. Roseanna–
    I’ve also quit audiobooks when a voice is just SO WRONG! Usually bios and memoirs read by the author are good, like Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes. But I couldn’t stand listening to an author read her memoir of European life in the most godawful, draggy Southern accent. I can like a Southern accent just fine, but she was way too slow. and the accent really didn’t fit the material.

    Reply
  85. Roseanna–
    I’ve also quit audiobooks when a voice is just SO WRONG! Usually bios and memoirs read by the author are good, like Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes. But I couldn’t stand listening to an author read her memoir of European life in the most godawful, draggy Southern accent. I can like a Southern accent just fine, but she was way too slow. and the accent really didn’t fit the material.

    Reply
  86. Louisa–
    Entering a different and better world on the commute home is definitely one of the best ways to use an audiobook.
    I suspect that narrators do sound different from what they think of their own voices–but like singers, they get used to the cognitive dissonance.

    Reply
  87. Louisa–
    Entering a different and better world on the commute home is definitely one of the best ways to use an audiobook.
    I suspect that narrators do sound different from what they think of their own voices–but like singers, they get used to the cognitive dissonance.

    Reply
  88. Louisa–
    Entering a different and better world on the commute home is definitely one of the best ways to use an audiobook.
    I suspect that narrators do sound different from what they think of their own voices–but like singers, they get used to the cognitive dissonance.

    Reply
  89. Louisa–
    Entering a different and better world on the commute home is definitely one of the best ways to use an audiobook.
    I suspect that narrators do sound different from what they think of their own voices–but like singers, they get used to the cognitive dissonance.

    Reply
  90. Louisa–
    Entering a different and better world on the commute home is definitely one of the best ways to use an audiobook.
    I suspect that narrators do sound different from what they think of their own voices–but like singers, they get used to the cognitive dissonance.

    Reply
  91. I LOVE audio books. I listen to about 50 per year – if not more. My favorite narrator for historical romance is Ann Flosnik – and yes, I’d listen to her read the phonebook. 🙂

    Reply
  92. I LOVE audio books. I listen to about 50 per year – if not more. My favorite narrator for historical romance is Ann Flosnik – and yes, I’d listen to her read the phonebook. 🙂

    Reply
  93. I LOVE audio books. I listen to about 50 per year – if not more. My favorite narrator for historical romance is Ann Flosnik – and yes, I’d listen to her read the phonebook. 🙂

    Reply
  94. I LOVE audio books. I listen to about 50 per year – if not more. My favorite narrator for historical romance is Ann Flosnik – and yes, I’d listen to her read the phonebook. 🙂

    Reply
  95. I LOVE audio books. I listen to about 50 per year – if not more. My favorite narrator for historical romance is Ann Flosnik – and yes, I’d listen to her read the phonebook. 🙂

    Reply
  96. I like a clear voice that brings the characters and words to life. The worst experience is not being able to understand what is being read.
    I remember one book the narrator sounded as if she smoked two packs of cigarettes a day. It was distracting and I could not focus on the story. Another time the narrator was using a heavy British accent (believe it was a regency) and it was almost impossible to understand what was happening.
    The right narrator is key. It makes the difference between a listener anxiously picking up another audiobook by the same author or avoiding the author altogether to avoid the narrator.

    Reply
  97. I like a clear voice that brings the characters and words to life. The worst experience is not being able to understand what is being read.
    I remember one book the narrator sounded as if she smoked two packs of cigarettes a day. It was distracting and I could not focus on the story. Another time the narrator was using a heavy British accent (believe it was a regency) and it was almost impossible to understand what was happening.
    The right narrator is key. It makes the difference between a listener anxiously picking up another audiobook by the same author or avoiding the author altogether to avoid the narrator.

    Reply
  98. I like a clear voice that brings the characters and words to life. The worst experience is not being able to understand what is being read.
    I remember one book the narrator sounded as if she smoked two packs of cigarettes a day. It was distracting and I could not focus on the story. Another time the narrator was using a heavy British accent (believe it was a regency) and it was almost impossible to understand what was happening.
    The right narrator is key. It makes the difference between a listener anxiously picking up another audiobook by the same author or avoiding the author altogether to avoid the narrator.

    Reply
  99. I like a clear voice that brings the characters and words to life. The worst experience is not being able to understand what is being read.
    I remember one book the narrator sounded as if she smoked two packs of cigarettes a day. It was distracting and I could not focus on the story. Another time the narrator was using a heavy British accent (believe it was a regency) and it was almost impossible to understand what was happening.
    The right narrator is key. It makes the difference between a listener anxiously picking up another audiobook by the same author or avoiding the author altogether to avoid the narrator.

    Reply
  100. I like a clear voice that brings the characters and words to life. The worst experience is not being able to understand what is being read.
    I remember one book the narrator sounded as if she smoked two packs of cigarettes a day. It was distracting and I could not focus on the story. Another time the narrator was using a heavy British accent (believe it was a regency) and it was almost impossible to understand what was happening.
    The right narrator is key. It makes the difference between a listener anxiously picking up another audiobook by the same author or avoiding the author altogether to avoid the narrator.

    Reply
  101. Raquel–
    Good narration, like good writing and good design, tends to be unobtrusive. It makes us notice the story without calling too much attention to itself. I agree with you that clarity is of supreme importance.

    Reply
  102. Raquel–
    Good narration, like good writing and good design, tends to be unobtrusive. It makes us notice the story without calling too much attention to itself. I agree with you that clarity is of supreme importance.

    Reply
  103. Raquel–
    Good narration, like good writing and good design, tends to be unobtrusive. It makes us notice the story without calling too much attention to itself. I agree with you that clarity is of supreme importance.

    Reply
  104. Raquel–
    Good narration, like good writing and good design, tends to be unobtrusive. It makes us notice the story without calling too much attention to itself. I agree with you that clarity is of supreme importance.

    Reply
  105. Raquel–
    Good narration, like good writing and good design, tends to be unobtrusive. It makes us notice the story without calling too much attention to itself. I agree with you that clarity is of supreme importance.

    Reply
  106. Honestly, I’m a bit of a Luddite when it comes to audiobooks. I much rather read a book myself and imagine the characters voices. 🙂 If I had a long commute, I’d probably do more audiobooks.
    However, for an audiobook to be successful for me the narrator has to be able to accurately portray the emotion and different characters. The first audiobook I tried out was horrible. I don’t remember the narrator but he used a monotone most of the time and the same falsetto for the females. Hmmmm he may be the reason for my not being a fan. 😉

    Reply
  107. Honestly, I’m a bit of a Luddite when it comes to audiobooks. I much rather read a book myself and imagine the characters voices. 🙂 If I had a long commute, I’d probably do more audiobooks.
    However, for an audiobook to be successful for me the narrator has to be able to accurately portray the emotion and different characters. The first audiobook I tried out was horrible. I don’t remember the narrator but he used a monotone most of the time and the same falsetto for the females. Hmmmm he may be the reason for my not being a fan. 😉

    Reply
  108. Honestly, I’m a bit of a Luddite when it comes to audiobooks. I much rather read a book myself and imagine the characters voices. 🙂 If I had a long commute, I’d probably do more audiobooks.
    However, for an audiobook to be successful for me the narrator has to be able to accurately portray the emotion and different characters. The first audiobook I tried out was horrible. I don’t remember the narrator but he used a monotone most of the time and the same falsetto for the females. Hmmmm he may be the reason for my not being a fan. 😉

    Reply
  109. Honestly, I’m a bit of a Luddite when it comes to audiobooks. I much rather read a book myself and imagine the characters voices. 🙂 If I had a long commute, I’d probably do more audiobooks.
    However, for an audiobook to be successful for me the narrator has to be able to accurately portray the emotion and different characters. The first audiobook I tried out was horrible. I don’t remember the narrator but he used a monotone most of the time and the same falsetto for the females. Hmmmm he may be the reason for my not being a fan. 😉

    Reply
  110. Honestly, I’m a bit of a Luddite when it comes to audiobooks. I much rather read a book myself and imagine the characters voices. 🙂 If I had a long commute, I’d probably do more audiobooks.
    However, for an audiobook to be successful for me the narrator has to be able to accurately portray the emotion and different characters. The first audiobook I tried out was horrible. I don’t remember the narrator but he used a monotone most of the time and the same falsetto for the females. Hmmmm he may be the reason for my not being a fan. 😉

    Reply
  111. Just wanted to say thank you for your kind words about my book, they made me smile! I am a huge fan of Stephen Fry. I fell in love with his work when I was a young teen and he has played a large part in my love of language.

    Reply
  112. Just wanted to say thank you for your kind words about my book, they made me smile! I am a huge fan of Stephen Fry. I fell in love with his work when I was a young teen and he has played a large part in my love of language.

    Reply
  113. Just wanted to say thank you for your kind words about my book, they made me smile! I am a huge fan of Stephen Fry. I fell in love with his work when I was a young teen and he has played a large part in my love of language.

    Reply
  114. Just wanted to say thank you for your kind words about my book, they made me smile! I am a huge fan of Stephen Fry. I fell in love with his work when I was a young teen and he has played a large part in my love of language.

    Reply
  115. Just wanted to say thank you for your kind words about my book, they made me smile! I am a huge fan of Stephen Fry. I fell in love with his work when I was a young teen and he has played a large part in my love of language.

    Reply
  116. When I first started to record my narration I was mostly freaked out by the sound of my voice. I’m used to it now, and more sensitised to how it sounds when warmed up, when relaxed, when in the narration flow etc. However, that’s only when I’m in the studio with my reading being piped live into my ears. It’s very hard to hear it properly without that, which is why we always get that dissonance when first hearing our own voice. Processing the sound we make in our throat through bone and muscles and skin as well as our ears does make a surprising amount of difference!

    Reply
  117. When I first started to record my narration I was mostly freaked out by the sound of my voice. I’m used to it now, and more sensitised to how it sounds when warmed up, when relaxed, when in the narration flow etc. However, that’s only when I’m in the studio with my reading being piped live into my ears. It’s very hard to hear it properly without that, which is why we always get that dissonance when first hearing our own voice. Processing the sound we make in our throat through bone and muscles and skin as well as our ears does make a surprising amount of difference!

    Reply
  118. When I first started to record my narration I was mostly freaked out by the sound of my voice. I’m used to it now, and more sensitised to how it sounds when warmed up, when relaxed, when in the narration flow etc. However, that’s only when I’m in the studio with my reading being piped live into my ears. It’s very hard to hear it properly without that, which is why we always get that dissonance when first hearing our own voice. Processing the sound we make in our throat through bone and muscles and skin as well as our ears does make a surprising amount of difference!

    Reply
  119. When I first started to record my narration I was mostly freaked out by the sound of my voice. I’m used to it now, and more sensitised to how it sounds when warmed up, when relaxed, when in the narration flow etc. However, that’s only when I’m in the studio with my reading being piped live into my ears. It’s very hard to hear it properly without that, which is why we always get that dissonance when first hearing our own voice. Processing the sound we make in our throat through bone and muscles and skin as well as our ears does make a surprising amount of difference!

    Reply
  120. When I first started to record my narration I was mostly freaked out by the sound of my voice. I’m used to it now, and more sensitised to how it sounds when warmed up, when relaxed, when in the narration flow etc. However, that’s only when I’m in the studio with my reading being piped live into my ears. It’s very hard to hear it properly without that, which is why we always get that dissonance when first hearing our own voice. Processing the sound we make in our throat through bone and muscles and skin as well as our ears does make a surprising amount of difference!

    Reply
  121. I haven’t tried many audio books. I have a hearing problem and hearing aids. What I find is important to me is crisp diction which helps me understand the words spoken in an English or Australian accent. It is relaxing to put my feet up, close my eyes and be read to !

    Reply
  122. I haven’t tried many audio books. I have a hearing problem and hearing aids. What I find is important to me is crisp diction which helps me understand the words spoken in an English or Australian accent. It is relaxing to put my feet up, close my eyes and be read to !

    Reply
  123. I haven’t tried many audio books. I have a hearing problem and hearing aids. What I find is important to me is crisp diction which helps me understand the words spoken in an English or Australian accent. It is relaxing to put my feet up, close my eyes and be read to !

    Reply
  124. I haven’t tried many audio books. I have a hearing problem and hearing aids. What I find is important to me is crisp diction which helps me understand the words spoken in an English or Australian accent. It is relaxing to put my feet up, close my eyes and be read to !

    Reply
  125. I haven’t tried many audio books. I have a hearing problem and hearing aids. What I find is important to me is crisp diction which helps me understand the words spoken in an English or Australian accent. It is relaxing to put my feet up, close my eyes and be read to !

    Reply
  126. Hi, Mary Jo, what a great post! Your introduction was fun, and Emma Newman’s interview was fascinating. Great fun to hear about everything going on during recording an audiobook. I LOVE audiobooks and this insight will just enhance my appreciation. Who knew the narrator was hearing it back as she read?! It must be distracting!
    It was also interesting hearing about Emma Newman’s experiences starting out as a narrator.
    Thank you!

    Reply
  127. Hi, Mary Jo, what a great post! Your introduction was fun, and Emma Newman’s interview was fascinating. Great fun to hear about everything going on during recording an audiobook. I LOVE audiobooks and this insight will just enhance my appreciation. Who knew the narrator was hearing it back as she read?! It must be distracting!
    It was also interesting hearing about Emma Newman’s experiences starting out as a narrator.
    Thank you!

    Reply
  128. Hi, Mary Jo, what a great post! Your introduction was fun, and Emma Newman’s interview was fascinating. Great fun to hear about everything going on during recording an audiobook. I LOVE audiobooks and this insight will just enhance my appreciation. Who knew the narrator was hearing it back as she read?! It must be distracting!
    It was also interesting hearing about Emma Newman’s experiences starting out as a narrator.
    Thank you!

    Reply
  129. Hi, Mary Jo, what a great post! Your introduction was fun, and Emma Newman’s interview was fascinating. Great fun to hear about everything going on during recording an audiobook. I LOVE audiobooks and this insight will just enhance my appreciation. Who knew the narrator was hearing it back as she read?! It must be distracting!
    It was also interesting hearing about Emma Newman’s experiences starting out as a narrator.
    Thank you!

    Reply
  130. Hi, Mary Jo, what a great post! Your introduction was fun, and Emma Newman’s interview was fascinating. Great fun to hear about everything going on during recording an audiobook. I LOVE audiobooks and this insight will just enhance my appreciation. Who knew the narrator was hearing it back as she read?! It must be distracting!
    It was also interesting hearing about Emma Newman’s experiences starting out as a narrator.
    Thank you!

    Reply
  131. I am currently listening to “the Bargain” and really enjoying it. Mary Jo, you are one of my favorite authors and I am delighted that you are putting your backlist into the audio format. Have you selected the next book you will be putting into audio? Your choice obviously but I would love to listen to the Rake in audio; one of my all time favorites.

    Reply
  132. I am currently listening to “the Bargain” and really enjoying it. Mary Jo, you are one of my favorite authors and I am delighted that you are putting your backlist into the audio format. Have you selected the next book you will be putting into audio? Your choice obviously but I would love to listen to the Rake in audio; one of my all time favorites.

    Reply
  133. I am currently listening to “the Bargain” and really enjoying it. Mary Jo, you are one of my favorite authors and I am delighted that you are putting your backlist into the audio format. Have you selected the next book you will be putting into audio? Your choice obviously but I would love to listen to the Rake in audio; one of my all time favorites.

    Reply
  134. I am currently listening to “the Bargain” and really enjoying it. Mary Jo, you are one of my favorite authors and I am delighted that you are putting your backlist into the audio format. Have you selected the next book you will be putting into audio? Your choice obviously but I would love to listen to the Rake in audio; one of my all time favorites.

    Reply
  135. I am currently listening to “the Bargain” and really enjoying it. Mary Jo, you are one of my favorite authors and I am delighted that you are putting your backlist into the audio format. Have you selected the next book you will be putting into audio? Your choice obviously but I would love to listen to the Rake in audio; one of my all time favorites.

    Reply
  136. I’m glad you’re enjoying The Bargain, Renee! THE RAKE is definitely on the list, but I’m looking for the perfect British male narrator. I’m might do the second Fallen Angels book for my next audio project, but I haven’t decided. Everything takes time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  137. I’m glad you’re enjoying The Bargain, Renee! THE RAKE is definitely on the list, but I’m looking for the perfect British male narrator. I’m might do the second Fallen Angels book for my next audio project, but I haven’t decided. Everything takes time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  138. I’m glad you’re enjoying The Bargain, Renee! THE RAKE is definitely on the list, but I’m looking for the perfect British male narrator. I’m might do the second Fallen Angels book for my next audio project, but I haven’t decided. Everything takes time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  139. I’m glad you’re enjoying The Bargain, Renee! THE RAKE is definitely on the list, but I’m looking for the perfect British male narrator. I’m might do the second Fallen Angels book for my next audio project, but I haven’t decided. Everything takes time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  140. I’m glad you’re enjoying The Bargain, Renee! THE RAKE is definitely on the list, but I’m looking for the perfect British male narrator. I’m might do the second Fallen Angels book for my next audio project, but I haven’t decided. Everything takes time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  141. I love forward to the Rake in audio whenever it arrives, LOL!
    I would image finding the right narrator who captures what you have
    conceived in print is not easy.

    Reply
  142. I love forward to the Rake in audio whenever it arrives, LOL!
    I would image finding the right narrator who captures what you have
    conceived in print is not easy.

    Reply
  143. I love forward to the Rake in audio whenever it arrives, LOL!
    I would image finding the right narrator who captures what you have
    conceived in print is not easy.

    Reply
  144. I love forward to the Rake in audio whenever it arrives, LOL!
    I would image finding the right narrator who captures what you have
    conceived in print is not easy.

    Reply
  145. I love forward to the Rake in audio whenever it arrives, LOL!
    I would image finding the right narrator who captures what you have
    conceived in print is not easy.

    Reply

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