I turned 50 this past Monday. That’s a half century. The day before my birthday I found a letter my middle sister had written to me when I turned 20. In it she wrote “can you believe we are this old!” Yes, yes I can. I believed it then, I believe it now, and I am so grateful to have made it this far. I can name classmates, relatives, and friends who did not get to experience this age.
50 is one of those ages common to goal-setting benchmarks. By the time I’m 50 I want to have done <insert goal here>. Although I am a goal-oriented person, the only goal I had for 50 was more of a statement “I’m going to be one of those women who wears her hair long at 50.” This was from years ago watching my mom and her friends cut their hair when they became “too old for long hair”. Thankfully times shift and it is not even unusual that I run around in the same hairstyle I had when I was 9.
In Development is also about achieving goals. Cobie has her eye set on a specific movie role. Lila has her eye set on greater media exposure before her next album drop. Spoiler alert: this is a romance novel so they also find each other along the way. I adore this story, even after listening to myself read it over and over again. I shared a bit about my journey to audiobooks back in January.
I had so much fun making this audiobook. And it’s hard work, yet so rewarding. There are frustrations- there is a major change I would have made, but the time just wasn’t there. It can be overwhelming and difficult to hear the subtleties when you listen to your voice over and over again, working to remove extraneous sounds, re-recording bits that came out wrong, searching for mispronounced words and doubled-up or missed sentences.
It’s also very satisfying to bring characters to life. And anxiety producing. Not everyone will agree with your take on a character. Not everyone will like your voice (one kid told me she can’t believe people want to listen to me- “no offense, Mom”. Great. None taken). The act of getting a book out there, the satisfaction of doing something you have dreamed of for years, the joy of broadening the audience and impact of a book. That makes every one of those 80 or so hours spent recording, editing, and analyzing the audio file well worth it.
I have some narrators I just adore who I will listen to anything they read. Christine Williams is one. She reads most of Ann McMan’s books. Her voices and character performances are wonderful. Christine Williams could read the phone book to me. I may or may not have listened to approximately 60 hours of her reading while I painted last summer.
Abby Crayden reads a number of books by various authors. She reads one of my favorite Radclyffe novels, Fated Love, and is the voice of Quinn. So sexy. Even when I read the book in print I hear her voice.
Lisa Cordileone is the voice of Robin Alexander’s books. She captures their humor so well. These are favorite car trip books for me.
Some authors read their own stuff. I love listening to Georgia Beers read Starting From Scratch.
And Karin Kallmaker does a sweet turn on her novella Comfort and Joy.
Audible lets me have a few free audio codes for In Development and so I will give one away here. Comment below if you would like to be entered into that drawing. I will draw at 5pm on Friday March 8.
If you have stories of goals you met recently, or are looking forward to achieving, please share those below! I get to continue on my audio journey with When the Stars Sang by Caren Werlinger. Look for it in early summer!