Authors on Narrators~Last Thoughts on Audiobooks
With RJ Scott, J. Scott Coatsworth, and Joe Cosentino
As we wind down our series on audiobooks, I wanted to talk to the authors who write the stories that get narrated. Find out what they are looking for in a narrator, what they think of their stories being read out loud? Is it too strange? Does it seem surreal? Or just right? This is what I found, thank you, authors RJ Scott, J. Scott Coatsworth, and Joe Cosentino for helping us out this week…
The Authors Perspective
♦︎From Author RJ Scott, author of The Heart of Texas audiobook narrated by Sean Crisden and a consistent favorite among our reviewers:
Way back, when I was with Silver, a narrator did The Christmas Throwaway for me. I loved his voice, Sean Crisden, and to date he has done all of my audio books (apart from one short that was with DSP).
I don’t listen to my audiobooks, I have proofers that do that for me to check them. I am also not a listener to audio books.
I think I know why. They go too slow for me, so the one time I have listened to an audio book I listened to it on double speed (LOL). My thoughts about story buzz all over the place, and I get impatient to get to the story. This is the same when I read – I speed read.
I know that audio is a growing market, and i have had requests for my books to go into audio – hence trying the water with the Sanctuary books. This has led to me putting The Heart Of Texas out on audio which has been hugely successful. This is good as there is a huge investment financially in getting the books out there.
♦︎From Author J. Scott Coatsworth, who’s audiobook The Autumn Lands was a real hit with our reviewer Paul B:
- What do you look for in a audiobook narrator?
Several things. First, I want someone with a good, clear voice – someone that my readers (or listeners) will enjoy, and whose voice won’t jerk them out of the story. But I am also looking for someone professional – someone who has some experience, who knows the ins and outs of doing audio, and who will work with me on a professional basis. I also ask if they are willing to share royalties instead of requiring an upfront payment, which can be a big boon for authors who don’t have a lot of ready cash.
- Do you listen to your audiobooks?
I only have two so far – The Autumn Lands, which appeared on Campfire, and my story A New Year, which appears in the Candle in the Dark anthology from Inkstained Succubus (Inky Suky). I’ve listened to The Autumn Lands – it’s strange listening to your own work.
- What made you want to see your books in a audiobook format?
It’s another outlet for readers to find me. I was at the DSP Retreat earlier this year, and they talked about the big growth in audio and translation sales, as sales revenues for print and eBooks at Amazon have declined for many publishers. Audio seems to be the place to be.
- Do you listen to audiobooks in general?
LOL… not yet. As I mentioned, I have listened to a few on Vance Bastian’s great Campfire podcast. In fact, Vance is the one who did the audio for The Autumn Lands, which appeared on the podcast first. Mostly it’s just a matter of time. I need to find more time for books.
♦︎From Joe Cosentino,who has a November audiobook release of a previous book: The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland narrated by Joel Leslie our narrator guest of last week and published by Dreamspinner Press.http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com
- What do you look for in an audiobook narrator?
Since my books are generally on the theatrical side (like me), I look for an audiobook narrator who is an actor capable of expressing numerous emotions and playing various roles effectively. Since humor is such an important part of books, I seek a performer with a great sense of humor and comic timing evident in their narration. Finally, I seek a narrator who can transport me to amazing places, pluck at my romance heartstrings, and keep me riveted as the plot twists and turns unfold. Michael Gilboe did a great job narrating my Drama Queen, the first Nicky and Noah mystery, published by Lethe Press. His wry sense of humor, spot on comic timing, and ability to inhabit twenty-two characters make that audiobook great fun to hear. It also didn’t hurt that Michael, like Nicky Abbondanza in the series, is a college theatre professor. Though straight himself, Michael was quite comfortable with the gay content in the novel. Coming from the Midwest, Michael also has crystal clear diction, which is so important in an audiobook. Michael was able to build beautifully the tension to the shocking ending, where we find out whodunit and why. When the readers of Divine Magazine chose Drama Queen as their Favorite LGBT Mystery Novel, Humorous Novel, and Contemporary Novel of 2015, I shared the kudos with Michael. I’m hoping he’ll do Drama Muscle, the second Nicky and Noah mystery, which just won a Rainbow Award Honorable Mention. Joel Leslie is currently recording an audiobook version of my The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland published by Dreamspinner Press, releasing in November. Also an actor, Joel has a strong connection to his emotions, crisp diction, and the ability to believably play many characters. Having lived in both England and the US, Joel is also able to narrate with an American or British accent, perfect for my gay take on my favorite fairytales.
- Do you listen to your audiobooks?
Do I ever! Ask Michael Gilboe, if he’s still speaking to me-hah. I listened to every word of Drama Queen and emailed Michael a number of requested corrections. He was nice enough to make every one. I have to admit, though I wrote the book, when I heard the audiobook I laughed out loud hysterically, and I was shocked by the ending. I am very much looking forward to hearing The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland when it is completed.
- What made you want to see your books in an audiobook format?
Everyone tells me my books should be made into TV series. It totally agree. Until that time comes, audiobooks, like radio dramas in times past, are the next best thing. If an audiobook is narrated well, the listeners should see the characters and their stories in front of them.
- Do you listen to audiobooks in general?
I’d better. My spouse is Audible Approved audiobook narrator, Fred Wolinsky, who has quite a following, including me. We decided he wouldn’t do my books to keep our marriage safe. Hah. Actually, I am working with another narrator, Charissa Howe, on my straight (with gay supporting characters) mystery series, the Jana Lane mysteries. Charissa is recording Paper Doll, the first Jana Lane mystery now. She’s amazing actress who embodies Jana (an ex-child star making her movie comeback and solving murder mysteries along the way) and all the quirky characters beautifully. I better go now, I have some correction requests for Charissa. Happy audiobook listening!
Thank you, RJ, Scott, and Joe, for all that wonderful insight. Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words and our listeners/readers look forward to more of your stories, in every format!
A Listener’s Perspective
And finally I asked those that listen, from two different angles. One for whom english is a second language, our Stella and Barb, our Zany Old Lady.
My thoughts on what I like in a audiobook narrator… To me the voice needs to be perfectly clear and let me understand each word. I saw a lot of talks around by not English readers like me, often scared of trying audios because the narrator could be too English or too American, or simply too quick in the narration. I don’t have a lot of audios but before picking the few I have, i went to audible and listen to a LOT of samples. And let me tell you, few narrators do a really great job for what I look in an audio.
From Barb, our Zany Old Lady:
A great narrator is a voice actor—a person who can bring a story to life just by using their voice.
A great narrator plays the roles of each of the characters in the story, giving each a personality and a voice of his/her own.
A great narrator knows the story inside and out before recording, and if unsure of a word’s pronunciation, finds out before speaking it.
A great narrator understands the difference between reading a story, telling a story, and living a story.
A great narrator convinces me that the most important task I need to do today is to stay immersed in this particular story. He (or she) transports me to a place from which I really don’t want to return.
And in the end, isn’t that what great stories are supposed to do? Transport us out of our daily lives into other worlds, contemporary, supernatural, fantastical…whatever we may be looking for! A great narrator tells an author’s story in a manner that make’s us feel it, live it, cry and laugh and yes, maybe even fan ourselves because of that author’s words flowing out to our ears through a particularly memorable voice. Its a gift. And when combined with the that of a equally talented author, the result is one that beckons, sparkles and makes the audiobook a deep and moving experience. What a joy!
My thanks to Joel Leslie, our narrator last week and guest. His terrific giveaway of 10 audiobooks is still running. Please leave a comment today or on the blog last week to be entered. Contest ends on the 30th of September at midnight. Don’t forget to leave an email address where you can be reached if chosen. We are choosing 10 winners! So get those entries in. Here is the link to the Joel Leslie Interview/Contest: http://wp.me/p220KL-8fa
My thanks to RJ Scott, J. Scott Coatsworth, and Joe Cosentino. Their bios and media information can be found at the end of today’s blog. Coming up in October? Another new topic, a spooky Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words reading contest, and much more. Stay with us! And now for this week’s schedule.
This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
Sunday, September 25:
- Authors on Narrators~Last Thoughts on Audiobooks with RJ Scott, J. Scott Coatsworth and Joe Cosentino
- This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
Monday, September 26:
- Cover Reveal – Snow & Secrets (Stanford Creek #3) by RJ Scott
- In the Release Day Spotlight: God of Jazz: Fugue, Concord by Varian Krylov (author interview and giveaway)
- Riptide Tour – Kinky Sprinkles by LA Witt
- A Free Dreamer Review: Pendulum by L.C. Davis
- A Lila Release Day Review: Where We Left Off by Roan Parrish
Tuesday, September 27:
- Blog Tour: Dominique & Other Stories by Brenda Murphy (excerpt and giveaway)
- Blog Tour & Giveaway: Sean McKissack’s To Be a Different Someone
- A Free Dreamer Review: Stygian by Santino Hassell
- A Caryn Review: Out of My Mind by AJ Truman
- A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Places in Time by Cardeno C
- A MelanieM Review: Dragon’s Dilemma by Mell Eight
Wednesday, September 28:
- Dreamspinner Press’ One Pulse Anthology Release Tour and a Interview with Jon Keys, author of A Single Night
- Book Blitz: DC Juris’s short story, Star’s Embrace (excerpt and giveaway)
- An Alisa Release Day Review: From the Get Go by Sean Michael
- A Lila Release Day Review: Making Waves (Wrench Wars #4) by Marie Sexton
- A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Kinky Sprinkles by L.A. Witt
Thursday, September 29:
- In the Spotlight: Jamie Deacon ‘Caught Inside (excerpt and giveaway)
- Release Blitz & Review Tour – Morning My Angel by Sue Brown- (excerpt and giveaway)
- Beach Rental Anthology Tour and Giveaway
- An Alisa Review: Night Train To Naples (Night Train #1) by Carolina Valdez
- An Alisa Audiobook Review: The Cattle Baron’s Bogus Boyfriend by Nicki Bennett and Narrator Rusty Topsfield
Friday, September 30:
- Cover Reveal Blitz for “Spell Cat” by Tara Lain
- A Paul B Release Day Review: A Nice Normal Family by John Terry Moore
- A Free Dreamer Review:Faire Secrets (The Faire Folk #4) by Madeleine Ribbon
- A MelanieM Release Day Review: Babe in the Woodshop by Ashlyn Kane, Claudia Mayrant, & CJ Burke
Saturday, October 1:
- A MelanieM Release Day Review: A Matchless Man by Ariel Tachna
- A Paul B Review: Flight Anthology by Queer Sci Fi
- A MelanieM Review: The MCB Quarterly, Vol 5
~About the Authors~
J. Scott Coatsworth
Scott has been writing since elementary school, when he and won a University of Arizona writing contest in 4th grade for his first sci fi story (with illustrations!). He finished his first novel in his mid twenties, but after seeing it rejected by ten publishers, he gave up on writing for a while.
Over the ensuing years, he came back to it periodically, but it never stuck. Then one day, he was complaining to Mark, his husband, early last year about how he had been derailed yet again by the death of a family member, and Mark said to him “the only one stopping you from writing is you.”
Since then, Scott has gone back to writing in a big way, finishing more than a dozen short stories – some new, some that he had started years before – and seeing his first sale. He’s embarking on a new trilogy, and also runs the Queer Sci Fi (http://www.queerscifi.com) site, a support group for writers of gay sci fi, fantasy, and supernatural fiction.
Amazon Bestselling author Joe Cosentino wrote Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back (NineStar Press), Drama Queen and Drama MuscleNicky and Noah mysteries (Lethe Press), An Infatuation, A Shooting Star, A Home for the Holidays, The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press), Paper Doll (Whiskey Creek Press) and Porcelain Doll (Wild Rose Press) Jana Lane mysteries, and The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (Eldridge Plays and Musicals). He has appeared in principal acting roles in film, television, and theatre, opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Holland Taylor, and Jason Robards. His one-act plays, Infatuation and Neighbor, were performed in New York City. He wrote The Perils of Paulineeducational film (Prentice Hall Publishers). Joe is currently Head of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married. His upcoming novels are Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward (Nine Star Press), Drama Cruise Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press), and Satin Doll and China Doll Jana Lane mysteries (Wild Rose Press). Joe was voted 2nd Place for Best MM Author of the Year in Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards for 2015!
RJ Scott is the bestselling gay romance author of over ninety MM romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.
The last time she had a weekís break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldnít defeat.