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The Making of an Audio Book

At some point in the editing process, my publisher, The Wild Rose Press, notified all of the authors that we had the option of having our books turned into audio books. Being a lover of the spoken word myself, I jumped at the chance to have two audio books published.

Given that On The Homefront was released before Killing Her Softly, it is proceeding through the audio book process first. I received auditions from several narrators and fell in love with the British accent of one of the auditions, at least for Helen's voice. On The Homefront is told in the alternating first person point of view of three women; Helen is British and Lilly and Ruth are Americans. I requested the narrator redo the audition in an American accent, so I could get a feel for how that would sound. She graciously complied and I chose her to be the narrator.

It was several weeks between choosing the narrator and getting the first segment of recording to review. Luckily, during that time, I got four auditions for narrators on Killing Her Softly and chose the narrator for that book as well. Killing Her Softly is a contemporary romantic suspense and focuses on a battered woman, so I decided I didn't want a man to narrate that story. It just didn't feel right to me.

When I got the first recording to analyze for On The Homefront, I found a couple of words that the narrator said in her American accent that still sounded too British for Lilly or Ruth. For instance, the word "adult." She pronounced them with the emphasis on the first syllable, A-dult, whereas Americans usually put the emphasis on the 2nd syllable. Also the word "Mom;" she pronounced it with the British sound of Mum instead of the American flat Mom sound. But other than that, I really liked the way it was coming together.

I just finished listening to the prologue and first 5 chapters for further critique and am really enjoying having my book come to life in a new way as an audio book. I mean, it's great that it's available in e-book and paperback, from The Wild Rose Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble (at least in e-book), and other booksellers, as well as in libraries and on Overdrive. But, there are so many people who enjoy audio books, I'm excited to open my stories up to a new audience as well.

And, the process of getting to that point is also exciting. I love that the narrator sent comments to me, through my publisher, of how much she is enjoying the story. I've never met her and probably never will, but I feel a bond with her, as she reads my book.

Even though I haven't gotten sample chapters yet from the narrator I chose for Killing Her Softly, I did a Google search recently, looking for pirated copies of my books, and found that the narrator has listed Killing Her Softly on her list of works as in-progress, and again, I felt the connection. It's like there are more people out there now, pulling for me and my books, and it makes me happy.

I've waited a long time for a publisher to print one of my books, or in this case, two of them, so I'm trying to enjoy the process as much as possible. Of course, I'm still working on publicizing my books, presenting my Women of WWII program at local libraries and for women's groups, and attending book signings, as well as writing the new book, so it's keeping me pretty busy, along with the day job, but I'm enjoying the ride, nonetheless.

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