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A Whole new world

I had the pleasure of listening to my first novel as it has been interpreted by actor Stacey Lind in the audiobook of The Vials of Our Wrath.

It was a rush.

Hearing the book in my head as I’m writing, the words that I put on the page, the way those words sound when I read them weeks or months later, these are all different experiences. Some passages change every time I read them, which is why, if I didn’t have deadlines, nothing would ever be finished.

Hearing someone else read them, interpret them, somehow puts all of this in stone. Phineas Malgieri, the crazed preacher in Vials, will forever sound like a Southern Bible thumper. The narrator didn’t interpret this book blind; she asked detailed questions about how I wanted it to sound.

But the result is unique, a brand-new work.

So it is with audiobooks. They are an art form unto themselves. Jim Dale defined the voices and characters of the Harry Potter books far more than the movies (and arguably better than the author). What would Space Team be without Phil Thron’s comic timing and characterization? The voice actor’s interpretation is so fundamental to this other art form that changing narrators in the middle of a series is apparently a mortal sin—there are diatribes about this on r/audiobooks. Once we have heard characters, the cadence and lilt of their voices, they are as fixed for us as the voices of our family and friends.

I’m starting to imagine every book on audio.

Better get some royalties in the bank.

Read my books.

Listen to my books.

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