I’m the most excited I’ve ever been to announce a long awaited achievement! Falling to Pieces is at long last available in audiobook!
This journey of mine started out quite some time ago when I decided all of my books should be available in audiobook and that I was missing out on possibly, the most superior part of the market.
I am a person that cannot abide people making excuses for not participating in something because they ‘don’t have time.’ I’d say that reading books is actually a responsibility for an author, it’s also essential. Before I found audiobooks and actually decided to give them ago, against my beliefs that audiobooks were a terrible invention and I wouldn’t or couldn’t enjoy a book being spoken at me…I suffered the dreaded words, “I don’t have time to read.” They formed in my brain and mouth, but luckily I managed to keep them inside.
A friend of mine rejoiced them and encouraged me to give them a go. I believed I owed myself a chance to get through more than one book a month if I was lucky. In my defence, and another reason why I get annoyed when people use the excuse of having no time, is because I work a full time job as a paralegal, and trust me it can be extremely stressful, I have two children, a partner, I write and try to every day and I am extremely house proud. This isn’t mentioning the all consuming chronic condition I have which takes an awful lot of time to keep on top of, which is pretty much a life or death minute to minute task!
A few years down the line and I’ll be the first to admit, I absolutely and unoquivically love audiobooks. You know that bereft feeling you get when you arrive at the end of your current read. The tight feeling of agitation which forms in your chest cavity when you finish that last page? That’s how I feel when I hear the man from Audible at the end of a book. That panic has me running to order my next fix. I love audiobooks so much that my reviewer group has dubbed me The Queen of Audio.
So, how the hell could I countinue to walk around without any books in audio format?
I began recording Kissing Katie. I hated it and it took me a number of months to figure out that I should have started with one of my books in first person and the character I feel the most connected to out of all of them. Of course, that’s Teagan Lewis.
I went back to the recording room, which is my dressing room, and started again. It just so happened that at that time I responded to a post in an author group asking if authors planned on putting their books into audio. The guy sent me a private message in response to my comment that it was underway. He tried to disuade me from doing my own narration, by basically tell me I shouldn’t do this as I didn’t have the correct equipment or training and went about explaining how many thousands of dollars he spent on equipment and how highly trained he was. Rude. Not only rude, but he managed to decide all of this without even enquiring after my setup and or training.
Now, I haven’t spent thousands on equipment, but I was happy with the sound and I most definately did my research and by no means selected the cheapest options.
To be blatently honest, I think I’ve listened to such an array of narration styles that I knew exactly where I wanted to head with the book.
The absolute reason I didn’t take to ACX and attempt to secure a royalty share deal is because I knew exactly how I wanted my book to sound. Also, I’m sure there are fantastic narrators out there willing to do royalty share deals, but really, is their equipment going to be vastly better than mine? Are they going to be trained to the hilt? I doubted it. I know my characters inside and out. I have seen each character and scene in those books in my head in full Technicolour. If anyone else performed these books, no matter how brilliant, it wouldn’t be right. My love of audiobooks is the thing that made me realise that I wanted it to be the way I wanted it and to hand this over to someone else would be a mistake. Not only for them, but for me, too.
Okay, so this wise guy had pissed me off, but he did make me think about ways I could improve. I took to a narrators group, one I absolutely fear to tread. I barely ever post on there, because it’s so unfriendly which is unhelpful. I wanted to hire a coach, mostly to check that I wasn’t making a mistake. There were loud shouts about who was brilliant, and lots of tagging etc. One tiny voice, with a laid back approach stood out. I reached out to several people recommended, they all came back to me. But, the tiny voice with the laid back appraoach nagged at me. For a start the other coaches were female and to be honest I’m a very dominant person and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to be coached by a lady. So Meisner Trained Acting Coach and Narrator A.W. Miller, it was. And I’m so glad it was…
Prior to our first lesson, I sent him a clip of what I had done and waited nervously. When we met on Zoom he seemed really excited to be working with an author who wanted to narrate and that I was British. So, awesome :). Because I’d been so nervous I was shocked at how quickly at ease I was. He looked at my set up and agreed that considering how basic it all was, the sound was still good. Also, he informed me I was much further ahead than I thought. Now, y’all might consider he was blowing smoke up my arse and trying to inject some confidence the twatty narrator who was touting for business had attempted to wash from me, but A.W. throughout all of our sessions stood by his comments that I was already better than people taking paid gigs for narration. My theory as to why this could be completely true is that I am so connected and invested to my characters that it was effortless for me to recreate them this way. Also, I knew from thousands of hours listening to books exactly how I wanted The Falling Series to sound.
Teagan has an American accent in the book and I found this to be a struggle. Almost an entire book spoken in a different accent to my own would be a challenge. A.W. professed not to be trained in the art of accents. But, boy, I think he was wrong. He really helped me to see where things were going wrong and helped me see where I could improve in this area. He gave me tips on excercises to help me slip into my American accent. The funniest one being when he identified my American accent was excellent when I said the word, ‘fuck.’ I was hysterically laughing when he said that, and I think he could see by my face there was a story to this. I admitted that in our house the word ‘motherfucker’ is defaulted to an American accent. He found this comical and gave me lists of words to repeat to help me change my mouth shape during narrating these parts.
A.W. picked up on when I was ‘trying to hard.’ I laughed when he likened parts of narration to my military career and said in a German accent, “You vill do this right!” and a little later commented, “Oh, this part is really good, military Lucy must have gone for a smoke.”
Basically, I hung on A.W.’s every valuable word and switched up a lot of software, all of it in fact, to help me in every single way possible. And trust me, I needed all of the help I could get!
As A.W. and I arrived at that last lesson, he listened to my most recent work. I was almost at the end of the book by that point. When he said, lost in the moment of listening to my narrative, “You have such a great English accent.” We both burst out laughing.
I honestly could never have arrived at the point where I finally submitted my eight hours of audio to ACX without A.W.’s help. The best thing I ever did was to hire this man.
I am both terrified and excited to release this book in it’s audio form for the world to hear. I’d say it’s even more terrifying than releasing the book itself. I hope Teagan, the woman inside my mind has been done justice by my voice and that if nothing else, people will enjoy my production.
As always, authors and narrators need reviews to thrive, so if you are reading this, love audiobooks and PNR with spice, get in touch and see if I have any ACX codes to give! All I ask is that you leave an honest review. Better still, head to my Facebook Group, L.T.’s Lovelies where I’ll be giving away UK and USA codes to members :).
I’m planning on starting Falling into You this month. I’ll be much quicker than the epic seven months it took to bring you Falling to Pieces! After all, that’s what learning is all about!
Thanks as always for reading and I hope to hear from you soon!
If you’d like to find out more about A.W. Miller please so him some deserved appreciation:
If you’d like to purchase Falling to Pieces in audiobook, here are the links! (SQQUUUEEE!!!):
Also on iTunes