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Audio books

Read by Kevin R. Free

I’ve never really liked being read to. When it comes to my reading, I want to be in the driver’s seat. I want to be the one who decides how someone sounds, such as their particular accent or timber or how they say what they say. I’m usually ok with older books being read to me, such as Dorian Gray. Maybe it’s all the time watching Masterpiece Theatre as a child, I don’t know. But modern books? No, those are mine and I’ll decide how everything will sound, thank you very much.

And then I started crocheting a lot. The kind that requires more attention than what I have when watching TV, which is when I usually crochet. I needed my eyes elsewhere, but I’m a multi-tasker and also feel that since I’m having a good time with my crochet, I can’t just be sitting on my butt playing in yarn and not, at least, do something else constructive. So I tried out an audio book (because reading is totally constructive and necessary to life, obviously). Amazon lets you do it for a month for free, so I thought I’d give it a go since the book I wanted to read next happened to be in audio. Josh Lanyon’s All She Wrote. This was going to be tricky. I’m a huge Lanyon fan and there was a major risk that the narrator was going to totally jack-up Christopher Holmes’ dry wit and particular voice. I had just finished reading the first book in the series, so that was an even bigger threat against it.

I have to say, though, that I really did enjoy Kevin R. Free’s narration of the book. It wasn’t perfect, of course. But each voice was distinct, and recognizable. Free hit Christopher’s voice wonderfully, making me laugh and wince and thoroughly enjoy the adventure. J.X.’s voice was done really well. At first I was a little hesitant about the “roughness” but it did work.

I was also hesitant about the “intimate” scenes. I mean, it’s aural sex, yeah? Other than having to listen to those parts when the kids were out of the house, it was good. Ok, fine, it was hot. Not any more or less hot than the scenes would be if I had read them, and that makes this particular narrator perfect for me. I’m not gaining or losing anything when it comes to switching between the two formats, so this makes me very happy.

I’ve started listening to The Boy With the Painful Tattoo, now. I’m painting my kitchen cabinets and listening to Holmes and Moriarity and am quite content. In fact, I would say that just possibly my painting has gotten better. Ah, stories always make everything better!

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I dunno, man. I’ve been through a couple of publishers. I liked one over the other: they got my book into a ton of locations, that’s for sure. And they actually do an amazing job editing. But marketing is still set firmly on the author’s shoulders. And isn’t it always about the marketing? A phenomenal story is still phenomenal but nobody knows that if they don’t read it, ya know? (Not, of course, that I would put my stories in the “phenomenal” category, just yet.)

Maybe I’ll shop my historical novel out and see what some publishers think and what they can do. My first choice is to go with Fantastic Fiction, of course. My editor there, Rylan, is really great. And I think FF would go for it. I hope they would, any way.

I really hate marketing, though. I just want to go through the blood, sweat, and tears of creating this amazing story and then hand it off for someone else to get it into the right mass’s hands. Shedding more blood, sweat, and tears over marketing is just too much. Especially when you’ve got to fight for space among the people who don’t even take writing seriously enough to read what they just wrote. They’re just excited women who want to make some money off their poorly written fantasies. (I’m looking at you Myers and EL James.)

Ah, well. Let me get another manuscript ready to be offered on the altar and see what the writing gods will gift me.

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