Last week, I received the good news that the audiobook for my most recent Sally Solari mystery, Murder from Scratch, had finally been completed and was now ready for purchase on Audible. Yippee! (You can find it here.)
The previous three books in the series will also soon be made into audiobooks but, because of its subject matter, I’m delighted that the company chose to record Murder from Scratch first. This book features a young blind character—Sally’s distant cousin, Evelyn, who assists Sally in her sleuthing—yet as long as it was available only in print, it was inaccessible by the blind (unless you were willing to listen to it being read by a robotic computer program).
cover of the print version
Eager to hear how the recording (narrated by Adrienne Cornette) had turned out, I took my phone downstairs to the basement to listen as I pedaled away on my stationary bike, staring out at the ubiquitous Hilo rain.
I’ve got to say, it was a strange feeling, hearing someone else read the text I had composed. Mind you, the narrator does a fine job, handling many different characters and managing to give each a unique and identifiable voice. But they weren’t the voices I’d heard in my head as I wrote the characters.
Well, duh, I immediately chastised myself. Of course they wouldn’t be. She’d have to be a psychic—or have done a Vulcan mind-meld with me—in order to accomplish that impossible task.
I guess it’s a bit like seeing a movie based on a beloved book you’ve read countless times, till you feel as if the characters are a part of your family. And then, not surprisingly, one of actors is not what you imagined the character as looking like. But then he ends up being terrific in the part, and you’re won over. Okay, so maybe Colin Firth is in fact what Jane Austin had in mind for Darcy, you eventually decide. Or if not, who cares? He’s great!
cover of the audiobook
(looks more like Mexico than Santa Cruz, but quite inviting!)
Later that day, after listening to the first three chapters of Murder from Scratch, I thought more about this feeling I’d had upon first hearing my book read by someone else. It was also similar, I realized, to the reaction I’ve always had when hearing my own speaking voice on a recording: That’s not what I sound like! But of course it is. It’s just not how I sound to myself.
Subjectivity is a strange and powerful thing.
A few days later, I continued listening to the book, and as I did, the more it all started to seem perfectly natural. The voices were becoming familiar—and fun! And I finally found myself thinking, Okay, so maybe that’s how the characters really are supposed to sound, after all.
One last thing: I know many of you out there now have Colin Firth stuck indelibly in your imagination, so I’ll be a kind soul and leave you with a photo of him. You’re welcome.
Readers: How do you feel when you hear a recording of yourself? And have you ever grown to love an actor’s portrayal of a character from a book which you’d initially rejected as “not at all right”?