Showing posts with label Deceiving Elvera. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Deceiving Elvera. Show all posts

May 3, 2021

Audio...Again

 

Deceiving Elvera is now available as an audio book as well as print and e-book formats. Here's the link: https://www.amazon.com/Deceiving-Elvera/dp/B093C89MC7

Let me say something about narrators in general, and Naomi Rose-Mock in particular. They take an author's baby and interpret it aloud, so others can enjoy it. To do this, they must be able to read well; that's a given. But in a book like Deceiving Elvera, there's a lot more to think about. The book is set in Michigan and Thailand, so I had to provide a pronunciation guide (provided for me by someone who lived in Thailand for a time) that Naomi could consult. A third setting is a cruise ship, and the crew comes from all over, so she had to switch accents from Norwegian to Australian to Texan and so on. I would bet that requires a lot of highlighting and pre-reading to be prepared for conversations.

Finally, the narrator interprets the characters and the action. Too much "color" and a character like Elvera can become so irritating that the reader is turned off. Too little, and her assertiveness--and her pain--doesn't come through. Narrators know to how speed up to raise tension and slow down to soothe the reader after an intense scene. They change their voices to suit the scene: comic, dramatic, tragic. They make decisions and take precautions I never thought about before getting involved in audio book production. Listeners shouldn't hear the turning of a page or perceive gaps where a correction was made. Narrators have to decide if they'll leave in or take out the sound of their own breathing. And they have to either attend to the technological aspects of recording or arrange for someone else to do it.

None of that sounds easy to me, so I'm thrilled that companies like Audible, studios like Cerny American, and narrators like Naomi Rose-Mock and Megan Scharlau are around to de-mystify the process.

If you're an audio-book listener, I have codes for my audio books, including this one. Authors are given them to encourage people to try their books in the hopes that they'll leave reviews when they finish. As I've said many times, a review is the nicest thing you can do for a writer, so don't be shy.


Oct 21, 2020

What Are You Working on Now?


 Many writers will agree that the Corona virus has been horrible but also helpful. Afraid to go out, unable to do what we once did, what can we do besides write? Since the virus hit big-time, I've published two books (one as Maggie Pill, one as myself) and worked on one that's been a couple of years in the works and is now with the copy editor for its final corrections. Hoping that will come out before the end of the year,  I teased you with the cover above.

The downside to Corona for me is mental. With that and other national concerns, I've had trouble concentrating for any length of time, which means my work gets done in fits and starts. When I stop each day, I feel like the work is disjointed, but when I go back the next day and start reading, it's not. It's one of those, "it's not you, it's me" things. I'm writing the same as usual, but stress makes me feel like things aren't right.

And what am I writing? A book called THE CUTEST LITTLE KILLER. It begins when a private investigator is visited by two children who want their guardian dead. They're offering a very large sum of money to someone who'll take care of that for them.

Don't you love that? I do, but now comes the work. I know of authors who say they write a story once and that's it. I can't believe that's possible, but I won't call anyone a liar. I'll just say that for me, it takes many times through a MS to see what's needed and add it in. I start with a "backbone," the story itself, a plot that keeps the reader interested, holds together, and completes the story arc. Once that's done (on a rudimentary level), I know the characters better, so I go back and build them into the story with depth and background. In this story, readers are supposed to like the kids despite some oddities they exhibit, plus I have to make it acceptable for the reader to root for the success of aspiring killers.

Once I have the backbone and have fleshed out both plot and character, I go through a few more times, adding setting detail, figurative language, little jokes, red herrings, and minor characters. All those things should shine by the time the story is ready, but they aren't apparent to me until I have the main story taken care of. This is when I listen to the computer read my words aloud. It's also where I give a copy to my first reader (for whom I feel sorry, because she never gets to read the final, pretty version). At this stage I'm looking for plot holes, repetition, spots where the wording could be better, or a place for a minor additions that will make the whole thing more intriguing. When I'm done, the work is complete, with a stable structure and attractive additions.

Now it's ready for the editors to pick at, after which I'll read again and change what needs to be changed.

You'll probably read my book once. I've read it around fifty times.

At the Point Where I Can Tell You

 I sent my next book to the copy editor a few days ago, which for me is a major turning point. It's a commitment of sorts; the book that...