Another milestone on this book journey—I just finalized an agreement with my narrator/producer for my audio-book! And it was so fun!

Writing a book is an interesting creative process followed by an intricate set of business decisions around what you do with it. I have to say, I loved the creative process. There was something about letting myself go in different directions to see where it would lead— something my disciplined self evidently craved. As I started, I had so much to learn. A whole new world opened up to me. I had always admired authors, and am a life-long reader. But, I had never really stopped to think much about the art of it, and the craft one needs to learn to take an idea and sculpt it into a story worth telling; one that others would wish to read. Always busy with something, career, kids, caring for aging parents, career, and did I say career? 

When I took a break to look up, I finally had time to consider spending time on something new.

As I started to take classes at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, I became enthralled with the talent of writers I discovered, and grew more curious about how they did what they did.

I sat in many classes without participating much—just soaking up the environment. But, soon, of course, I took classes that required me to write—just small bits at a time.

Over time, I also learned about narrative arcs, character development, scene vs summary, dialogue, pacing and transitions. And, I started to write, and write….until I had something to say, and had learned how to say it through fiction.

I found a new place—I had found an artistic zone that I didn’t know existed for me. And, it’s lovely to be in this zone. I love it! It becomes cozy and insular and you want to stay there….

But, getting your writing out in the world is the point, right? Let me just say that if the writing process was new and different for me, and I could let my creative juices go wild, the next phase—getting my work out in the world, has taken me back to a world requiring my old traits of discipline, resilience and never ending persistence. Perhaps I’ll blog about that process another day, right now I want to be joyful about the audio book !

First, I should admit that before I finished my own novel, I had never listened to an audio book. Yes, to e-books, but never an audio book. But, a good friend of mine listens to audio books all of the time, as do my friends who have long commutes or spend lots of time at the gym. So, I started to listen to books through Audible. I chose my own genre, up-market or women’s fiction, and found that I loved it. My publisher, She Writes Press, is not in the business of audio books, so I needed to research how to have an audio book ready at the same time as my publish date.  

I chose a non-exclusive Amazon, Audible arrangement so that I can also distribute my book through other means. The process of determining which scenes of my book would work best for auditioning voice actors was revealing to me because I realized I had lots of different voices in my book: adolescents, an urbane Italian doctor, and many men and women that needed to be differentiated somewhat in the audio version of my book.

I chose well, and was amazed when I listened to the talented voice actors make my book come alive through their voices. It was a thrill when I first saw my book in print as an advanced reader copy, or galley, but I have to say, that this stopped me cold. I was so excited when I heard my words and could discern the interpretation that each talented voice actor conveyed.

I’m thrilled with my choice of narrator/producer, Tavia Gilbert. I think you will be, too!

2018 Audiobook Narrator of the Year and winner of the 2017 Best Female Narrator Audie Award, Tavia Gilbert is a producer, writer, and acclaimed narrator of more than 550 full-cast and multi-voice audiobooks for virtually every publisher in the industry. 

2018 Voice of Choice: Booklist Magazine
2017 Winner: Best Female Narrator Audie Award
Genre-Defining Narrator: Master of Memoir (Audible)