Em's place

Writing, anxiety-wrangling, tea.

Adventures in audio land

By Emma on August 30, 2010

A few months ago I officially launched my professional voice services and haven’t really mentioned anything about them since. I have been very distracted as you know (and believe me, the pull to write TYL2 right now is so strong it’s hard to write anything else, even a blog post!) so I thought it was high time to tell you all the exciting stuff that’s happened with the voice work since launch. I also recorded a winning Friday Flash ages ago and then neglected to post it up, so that announcement, and the call for entries for the next draw is at the end of this post.

The adventure begins…

My first commission (you know, the one that produces your first cheque that you want to frame but can’t because you need the money so badly?) was from the lovely Kate Maryon who is a local author I had coffee with ages ago. Kate is who I want to be when I grow up; serene, loving life and one of those people who is just so easy to be around. She also diagnosed my gluten intolerance, and since following her advice I have lost a total of 20 pounds in weight and have the energy to walk ten miles a week, play table tennis and do all the crazy work shenanigans I get up to. So, you know, she’s done a lot to change my life already!

Anyway, she loved the sample I put on my voice page and commissioned me to record the first four chapters of her novel “Shine” which is simply wonderful. It’s aimed at the 9-12 year old market but don’t be fooled by the girly cover, it actually tackles some meaty issues to do with interpersonal relationships that are deftly explored.

Harper Collins gave Kate the go-ahead to have the recording done, and it’s since been put up as a widget on their website! If you go to the Harper Collins page for Shine you’ll find a box called “More Audio” and you can listen to the chapters through that. I did an accent for the mother and daughter that was really fun – Kate had to coax it out of me but I’m glad I did it!

Then I did something a little bit crazy

One of my favourite people online, someone who I have talked about on my blog since I started it, wrote a book that was published as an e-book by Lyrical Press. It’s a science fiction thriller called TimeSplash, and the lovely chap in question is called Graham Storrs.

Now I have a lot of time for Graham. Our writing journeys have been very similar in timing, we both struggled for years, got grumpy, frustrated, infuriated, envious of other people’s success – and understood that in each other perfectly. Then bang! We both get our first publishing deal in the same year. Not only that, I also love his writing, and his short stories delight the same part of my brain that is reserved for Ray Bradbury, my all time hero, and not many writers are let in there I can tell you.

So anyway, I decided that I wanted to record an audio book of TimeSplash as my first audio novel. I thought it would be a good experience for me, that it would help to raise Graham’s profile too and that we could do it like pioneers of a new land; having no real idea of the huge work ahead and the pitfalls on the way, but knowing that there was something on the horizon worth striving for.

To my delight Graham said yes and for the last 3 months I have been recording TimeSplash.

And I have loved every minute of it. It’s a great book.

But the story gets even better…

About three weeks before finishing it, I was commissioned for my next audio project by a rather splendid fellow called Greg McQueen. You may recognise Greg (assume Simpsons-esque Troy McClure voice here) from the amazing 100 stories for Haiti project. It’s a novella, and one of the first projects for his new micro-publishing company.

So we get talking and it turns out that we have very similar plans and ideas about audio book publishing. We agreed we should collaborate on other projects, and I had several to bring to the table that I thought would really benefit from such a collaboration.

To cut a long story short (too late!) he has picked up the audio book of TimeSplash and offered Graham a print deal to boot. How fantastic is that?

So any day now I’ll be announcing that my first audio novel will be available for sale. Squeeeee! And double-squee for Graham; his book is fab and I will be one of the first people to buy it in print. I want it on my shelf. I want to hold it in my hand. Even though I have read every single word of it aloud and then edited it for hours and hours, I still want to own it. That’s how much I enjoyed it.

You can read Graham’s happy announcement on the TimeSplash blog here and find out more about Big Bad Media here.

So what’s next?

Well, I’m working on a novella for Big Bad Media, and there is another novella at the audition stage that I am hoping will happen too. Then there’s the re-recorded and professionally produced audio book of 20 Years Later in the pipeline too, plus a few other things…

Friday Flash Prize Draw

I had to miss this in July, but I am opening this up again for your August flashes. Here are the details:

So, just like last time, I am going to record a Friday Flash written by someone in the community (for free), publish it here to showcase their writing and of course, send it to the flash author to do with it what they will. I get a chance to practice producing other people’s work, and the winner gets a professionally produced audio version of their story. The only thing I ask is that at the end I get to say that I recorded it and give out my URL in case someone who listens would like me to record something for them.

Here’s how it works:

• You look at the Friday Flashes you wrote in August and pick your favourite one

• Leave a comment below, telling me that you’d like it to go into the draw, and include a link to that flash so I know where to find it if it wins, and your Twitter name too

• I’ll pick one at random using the random.org number generator (I’m not going to judge or pick a favourite as I don’t want to get tangled up in that)

• Over the following month I’ll record it and produce an MP3 which will get posted here with a link to the original flash and send you the file.

• Then you can put it on your own site, and if you link back to me to spread the word, that would be great.
Sound good? If you don’t follow the instructions above be warned that I won’t have a chance to chase you for details.

So if you want a chance to have me record one of your stories, you’ve got a week to submit – starting now. Please spread the word!

And if you can’t bear to wait (or you want to have me record one as a present for a fellow writer), you can always commission a professional story recording by me – the details are here.

The winner of the previous prize draw was the effortlessly stylish and all-round gorgeous Icy Sedgwick. The story is in one of my favourite genres and is called No Place Like Home. Enjoy.

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{ 7 comments... read them below, or add one }

  1. Caroline says:

    Emma! What fabulous news – congratulations on all the voice work; Kate’s chapters and Graham’s book and the professional re-recording of 20YL. S-o-o-o exciting!

    And about the gluten intolerance (well, that’s not such good news, but the finding out about it is) and the weight loss.

    I’m off to look for all your recordings now … 🙂

  2. Emma, knowing you has been like finding a really lovely painting in a junk shop and then discovering it is a genuine Vermeer. How can I ever express my wonder at what you are?

  3. Greg McQueen says:

    It’s wonderful working with you, Emma. I really am utterly glad that we met. Graham’s novel reinvents time travel in a way I have never seen before. He a brilliant writer, and a jolly nice chap, too.

  4. Caroline says:

    Graham, that is such a wonderful comment that if Emma’s post hadn’t already sold me on your book, your words above would have. Count me in for both the print and the audio version.

    And I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment, of course!

  5. Emma says:

    Wow Graham. I think that is one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me.

    Right. I’ll resist the urge to clap you on the back and swear at you like the blokey bit of me wants to after that beautiful moment and just croak “right back atchya” before going back to the bar to order more beer.

    @Gregg – It’s entirely mutual.

    @Caroline – Yup! Sooooo exciting indeed! I hope you enjoy them all 🙂 The next time you see me you won’t recognise me – I look so different to when we met at Pam’s workshop!

  6. Em – Yippee!!! All such great things, congrats. And now that you’ve lost so much weight you’ll have to have a new glamour shot done, especially since you know that you can survive that too.

    I am SO happy for you.

  7. HeatherM says:

    This is awesome! I’m so excited for you! Great opportunities are just stacking up. You give me hope for the digital age of publishing!

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