Busted—The Odyssey of Holly Bunn will be released sometime close to New Year’s Day. I’d hoped to have it finished two weeks before Christmas, but stuff happens. I had to change the format of my book cover to conform to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Thankfully, my cover designer, J.P. Jones, worked miracles, and we got it done. But it is part of the Anatomy of an Audiobook.
Anyone wishing to produce an audiobook should listen to Busted when it comes out. Why? The challenges presented to the narrator, Lara Wells, are as difficult as any she’ll face working with Balducci, Grisham, or Clancy. Let me point out just a few:
Characterization: Thrillers have several levels of characters from protagonist to third thug in the alley. A minor problem in a paperback. But in an audiobook, if the most minor character is off a bit, the listener hears it and cringes. I thought I knew Holly Bunn better than anyone. Then I listened to Lara’s Holly Bunn and thought, “Wow. That’s her.”
Showing the world of the novel: Busted is an international psycho-thriller. The narrator needs to take the listener into different areas of the world with different customs and traditions. Even if the author has done the job in the written word, the narrator must reinforce it in the spoken world. My character lives in Orlando, but she travels to Washington, Cleveland, Miami, Canada, and Russia. People living in the places Holly travels to must feel as though Holly is really there. The narrator plays a vital part in this portrayal.
Accents: Not only does the narrator have to depict male and female voices and differences in characters, she has to does foreign accents, pronounced foreign words, and name foreign places, cities and landmarks, with accuracy. Lara has to speak Russian and Spanish, speak English with Russian and Spanish accents, and switch from character to character without breaking the flow of the scene. Lara Wells and I worked together to make this happened in Busted. Lara is five stars in my book—no pun intended.
Next week I’ll write about author/narrator cooperation during the production process. Look for Busted to come out around New Year’s Day through Amazon, Audible.com, and I-tunes.