For this week's Wednesday Women, Catherine Lane has something special for you: With Ann Etter, she'll introduce her leading ladies in audio. It took us a bit to find out how exactly to bring the file to you, but we figured it out!
My good friend Ann Etter and I are putting together an audio clip for my latest release, the lesbian urban fantasy Tread Lightly.
“Is there a specific voice that you hear for Claire?” she asks over the phone.
Claire is a level-one–plus fairy godmother and the POV character. We need to get her just right.
“I don’t know.” Clearly I am no help at all.
“ Okay,” she says, “I hear her as down-to-business. She may be a magical, but she’s grounded in the real world.”
“True, but right now she’s in way over her head both with her case and with Tamiel.” That’s the guardian angel she’s falling for.
“So you think she should be both confident and vulnerable at the same time?” Ann asks.
So she sends me this:
I listen to it a couple of times and dash off the following email.
Claire is perfect, but Tamiel’s voice may be a little too high. I always equate high with young. And while Tamiel is inexperienced outside of her life as a guardian angel, she’s been around much longer than Claire. What do you think? Also in my head, Tamiel is pronounced as Tam’-ee-el. Sorry I didn’t tell you that before.
Another take pops up in my inbox soon after. Ann’s nailed both Claire’s and Tamiel’s voice, and we are off and running in creating an audio clip of the scene. As someone who has no talent in reading out loud, I’m really lucky that Ann will read for me, and we have created clips for all my books. Right around this time, though, I always have the same thought: Audiobooks are such odd animals.
Don’t get me wrong, I love, love, love them, and Ann just took a 3000 mile road trip in part, I suspect, to listen to several audiobooks from first word to last— six to be exact, five lesfic and one mainstream. But listening to someone read a book out loud is definitely not the same experience as reading it to yourself.
Reading a novel can be very intimate for the author’s words flow directly into your mind. You and the author become partners, and the experience can sometimes even bypass language and go straight to emotion and feeling. And if all this is really working, reading a book creates a special literary space that’s bigger than either the author or the reader—where each brings unique perceptions and intentions and because of that, only the two of you can enter.
Listing to a book, on the other hand, is more like joining a really cool club. Already the author and the narrator belong, and behind the scenes there is an editor, producer and often a director as well. Everyone adds their spin on the story. When you slip the CD into the car’s dash, you open the door to that meeting and everyone who’s already part of the club is waving you inside.
So, click below and please join Ann and me in the world of Tread Lightly. The door’s wide open.