I had planned to tell you all about my trip to Miami and the Readers’ Favorites International Book Awards Ceremony, but then an unexpected thing happened. The Six Train to Wisconsin’s audiobook went live!
So this week, I’m sharing an interview with my fabulous narrator/producer Christa Lewis and me! I thought it would be fun to have us answer three questions about the audiobook experience so you could get both sides of the process.
1) What was the biggest challenge in creating this audiobook?
CL: For me, the biggest challenge in creating this audiobook was time. Recording, editing, proof listening to an audiobook all takes time and not one step can be rushed… Kourtney put the audition up in March and I was booked solid through July. Then a few life events happened and I could not carve out the time to record… Until finally, it all began to calm down in September and I could begin to narrate my growing backlog. Kourtney really was extremely patient with me – for which I am sincerely grateful.
KH: Letting go. I had no idea how different an audiobook is from the novel and it was really hard to step back and not be a micro-manager. To trust my narrator to bring the book to life in a new and completely unfamiliar media. I was terrified of what might happen. Luckily, I had an awesome narrator who helped me understand what our roles were and made me very comfy with how things would be. Christa did a lot of handholding and really helped me through the entire process.
2) What made you want to work on this novel / with this narrator?
CL: I wanted to work on this novel very much because the story is so unusual and I loved the complexities in the relationship between Kai and Oliver. I was fascinated by their negotiation of the pitfalls of her mind reading abilities and depressions as well as Oliver’s creepy kidnapping/ heroic intervention. I thought the novel was edgy, interesting and genuinely fascinating.
KH: I went on ACX and hunted down narrators with versatile voices. I needed someone who could voice Oliver and Kai and a cast of supporting characters. I also wanted someone who didn’t make the obvious choices but got the subtlety of the characters. Christa blew me away with her samples and I asked her to audition for my novel. I loved where she went with it. She got the underlying emotion of the book so well. I immediately made an offer.
3) What is the best piece of advice you can share about creating audiobooks?
CL: An audiobook can be a wonderful listening experience, a brilliant way to exponentially increase the reach of a book for an author and a fabulous gig for a narrator. It is, however, labor intensive in ways that can only be experienced in the doing of them – so my advice is, for your first audiobook, no matter what part you play in the creation of it, give yourself at least a few months and don’t expect the book out on a certain date. Don’t need it by a certain date. Do the first audiobook as a training exercise to run into all the pitfalls and figure out all the how-to’s so that the next one will be easier, faster and you’ll know what needs to be organised going in.
KH: Find someone who gets the soul of your book and trust them. Christa did an amazing job creating the audiobook. She brought scenes to life in ways I never imagined. It was awesome to get to work with her.