There’s something particularly odd about hearing someone else read your work aloud. You know how it sounded when you read it aloud several times through, but hearing a different voice read it, the person having a different background and none of the baggage you bring to the table, is just plain surreal. The reader/actor doesn’t know about the way you wanted that sentence to sound, doesn’t picture, probably, the same exact faces and bodies that you picture. He doesn’t know the story behind that anecdote, the inspiration for that particular line, or even the agony of indecision you went through with that word choice.
So when Fred Godsmark at Audio Realms Publishing sent me the first chapter of WOLF LAND the other day and confirmed that it would indeed be on sale on the novel’s release day (November 3rd!), I clicked on the sample with a tightening of the quadriceps and sinking of the stomach. Oh, I know Fred does great work, and I know he’d never hire a bad actor to read one of my books, but still…it’s my baby, you know? What if the guy doesn’t emphasize this line? What if he starts using all sorts of inappropriate patois for one of my characters?
Folks, I needn’t have worried.
The reader/actor David Stifel, who’s done work for several of my author friends, really nailed it. Or at least, he nailed the first chapter because that’s all I’ve heard so far. I suspect he nailed the rest of the book too.
The audiobook cover and the first chapter are available right here. I really, really dig this version. In fact, the scene with Glenn, Weezer, and Short Pump was cracking me up. I know how that makes me sound, but I’m really complimenting David’s rendition here, not my own writing. He interpreted it splendidly.
More cool stuff on the way, folks. The reviews for WOLF LAND are rolling in, and they’re extremely positive. I can’t wait for Tuesday, and I hope you all had a Happy Halloween!