Character Voice Palette – The Making of An Audiobook

My current audiobook project is the suspenseful and controversial, A WOMAN IN LOVE: The Wise Brothers from the ‘Little Girl Lost Series’ (originally released as Fate’s Redemption). This daring novel is brought to us by the provocative and prolific author, Keith Lee Johnson. 

How Keith and I decided to collaborate on this project is  a very cool story. I am hoping Keith will consent to an interview or maybe a relaxed ‘chat’.  I hope to post it on Storyteller Productions’ Soundcloud page. Or perhaps, if Keith can find the time, I can convince him to be the inaugural guest for the podcast  I am considering.

Whichever way it winds up, the challenges of recording an epic tale like A WOMAN IN LOVE are many. Not the least of which are the plethora of major plots and main characters.  The voices for these most important and numerous ‘participants’ must be just right. To focus on this task, I record a Character Voice Palette. This is a recording session dedicated to susssing out the voices for each of the major players. Sometimes I use dialogue the author has written. Sometimes I just riff using the descriptive terms the author has provided in terms of what they hear in their heads when that character speaks combined with what has jumped out during my initial reading of the novel.

I thought it might be fun for readers/listeners of my audiobooks to hear what one of these creative sessions sounds like. Click on the Soundcloud recording below and you will hear the initial session where each of the major characters’ voices are created, in the moment, in real time. This is the same file provided for the author.

Our second Soundcloud recording contains adjustments to the four voices for whom Keith had suggestions after his first listening.

Working closely with the author in this manner allows us to perfect these details  before the recording of the story begins. With a 687 page tome like A WOMAN IN LOVE, it is very important to get this right prior to recording the story. Efficiency is essential. We do not want to interrupt the flow as we weave the tale for the listener.

Not every audiobook requires a Character Voice Palette. Not every author has the sound of their characters in mind. Not every audiobook balances on the intricate weaving of various storylines. What is most unique about working with Keith is his visual sense. He is very cinematic in his thinking, as are his stories. You, too, will “see it”, when you hear A WOMAN IN LOVE.

I look forward to recording this audiobook and hearing what you think….

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