Come listen to Episode 6 of my podcast, 12 Minutes (or less!) with the Author. The subject? I Made the Fabric, She Made the Dress. Transcript and link to the Spotify podcast episode below. The podcast is also on YouTube.
Episode 6, on Spotify: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/12-minutes-or-less/episodes/Episode-6-I-Made-the-Fabric–She-Made-the-Dress-e25d6lt/a-a9mq29l
This podcast episode is available on YouTube as well. Find it here: https://youtu.be/UaxtVX2aJnM
Welcome to 12 Minutes (or less!) with the Author. I’m your host, T.L. Brown, but you can call me Tracy. Let’s get started.
It’s good to be back. I missed a few weeks because I had lost my voice, but I’m better, and I’m back, so let’s get right to it.
I’m calling this episode “I Made the Fabric, She Made the Dress” for a very specific reason, which I will get to in a moment, but first I have some exciting news. For those who don’t know, the first book in my. Door to Door Paranormal Mystery series, which is called Door to Door, will be available as an audiobook and hopefully, that will be released this summer (summer 2023).
I am publishing the book through ACX and that means the audiobook will be available on Amazon, iTunes, and Audible. I decided to make a jump into the audiobook-publishing-releasing world after a few conversations with several authors about their experience, and specifically with their experience using ACX as a platform. There are pros and cons to using ACX and that is a subject for another podcast episode because today I want to discuss a little bit about the process of working with a voice artist who you choose to narrate your audio. It’s been a very interesting process and I’ve learned some things I didn’t expect.
I got lucky. I auditioned around 15 narrators. They are called producers in ACX. I like to say Voice Artist because they are giving your art a voice. If you are the writer, they are bringing that to life through their voice. And I did choose a narrator/voice artist based on a conversation I had with another independent author who also went with this particular narrator. And I’m very pleased – I’m so pleased. I can’t wait to share it with you.
However, I learned so many interesting things during this process and specifically with watching my art that I created – my book, my story, the fabric – watching that piece of art turn into a different kind of art with a different medium, an audiobook. People are not going to read the audiobook. They are going to listen to the audiobook. It is the same fabric, but now it has been shaped and designed and presented in a new way. It is the dress.
A correlation is: you read a book and you go to the movies and it’s very different – a lot of times and for better or worse, of course. That is when I first thought of the concept of the book as the fabric and something else becomes the dress – or shirt or pants. Whatever you want to go with. I did not think about that at the beginning of the audiobook process.
But it’s so true, and I took a step back and thought: how do I want to approach this? I have listened to the entire audiobook that the narrator has recorded, and she’s still in the process of making some changes. But it’s really close to being done. I would say 90% of the way. I learned as the process progressed, and I’ve listened to, really, the voice of Emily Swift – which is not my voice anymore. It is somebody else’s voice. She did a fantastic job. I’m so pleased. I had to say, all right, this is what Emily sounds like. I had, of course, given her some – well, quite a bit of – direction on different important voices like Emily Swift and Rabbit and Templeton…Tara being another one.
Which leads me to my next point, pronunciation. Now, when you are going through the process, you do provide information on how to pronounce certain words. So, for example, in the Door to Door series, we have cities called Matar, Anwat, and Vue. I provided her with that information so that she would have the pronunciation of those different cities.
I didn’t expect other things to perhaps change, so when I wrote and read and talk about Door to Door, and I referred to Emily Swift’s best friend, Tara Parker Jones, I pronounced Tara as Tare-Rah (rhymes with Hair-Rah) because that’s how I know the name. Now, there is another pronunciation: Tar-Rah. I know people who use that. And that is the pronunciation the voice narrator/voice artist chose.
And at first, I thought, oh dear, what do we do – because the name appears quite a bit in the book. And then, I let it go because guess what? I realized some readers when they read the book in their head, they pronounce Tare-Rah and Tar-Rah. So, there you go. And I was fine with that.
Another thing that I experienced was watching – listening, I guess – to another interpretation of cadence, volume, and speed when it comes to interpreting the written word. (I know, I pronounced “interpreting” strangely in the podcast – I’m human!)
Also, for audiobooks, I think, narrators tend to be more deliberate because they don’t want words to be missed. So, it perhaps it is a little slower at times. I’m a fast reader so, it’s sometimes challenging for me to listen to an audiobook in which the story is being presented more slowly. You have to take that into consideration. But as I listened and as the action grew in the book, so did the intensity of the voice. So did the speed in the cadence. Sometimes I could tell that she would turn her head in a certain way if she was expressing surprise – unplanned, unhappy surprise. And it worked.
As an artist who is a writer, it is such an amazing experience to watch an artist who is using their voice to bring your art to life and to learn how they are putting that together to honor your work.
Going back to the beginning of this podcast, the title is: “I Made the Fabric, She Made the Dress” – and it’s true. We are co-creators with this piece of art. I produced the original, she’s now molding it into something else with the goal of the readers and listening audience benefiting from this.
It’s been an incredibly fascinating process, and I look forward to bringing the finished product to you so you can listen.
That’s all I have for today. This was an unscripted, off-the-cuff podcast episode. Thanks for listening and I can’t wait to bring you more thoughts and ideas on the writing and the reading world. Have a great day everyone.
This has been 12 Minutes (or less!) with the Author. Thanks for listening to today’s episode. Hope you can join me for the next one. Until then, this is Tracy, AKA author T.L. Brown, signing off.