Audio Books and Other Recordings…
Like many authors, I write both fiction and non-fiction, in essays and articles, as well as books. In addition to Prospect for Murder (the first Natalie Seachrist Hawaiian Mystery) and the anthology Under Sonoran Skies Prose and Poetry from the High Desert, I have periodically recorded interviews about my writing. Unfortunately, while reshaping my author website and ImaginingsWordpower.com, (my branding and development site), I discovered the new website building system does not allow embedding audio files directly from my desktop. Therefore, I have to place audio files in appropriate blogs, inserting website hyperlinks to connect readers to those blogs. Accordingly, you will find samples from PFM and USS below. Also, a lighthearted article, “Yuletide in Tucson 1876,” is available on the post Website Renewal, which also provides an audio player.”
While you may not have recorded samples of your own authorship, I offer the following background of the development of Under Sonoran Skies, Prose and Poetry from the High Desert in hope that it may help you on your own creative journey. [If you would like further information on this project, you can read about it on my author website. The six-author anthology [published in hardcopy, audio and eBook editions] was one of the top 50 picks of 2012 by Southwest Books of the Year.
I believe an invaluable issue in compiling any anthology is establishing harmony among the authors’ personalities, skill sets, and voices. Fortunately, the co-authors of USS had become acquainted in attendance of writers’ salons for a couple of years.
~ Bill Black, a magician, poet, prosaist, storyteller and MC, who has published numerous books and has been featured in regional and international magazines. His current works may be found at his author page on Amazon.com.
~ Susan Cosby-Patton, retired language arts instructor and poet who is published regionally and nationally.
~ Kay Lesh, PhD, educator and psychotherapist who authors professional articles and books and will soon be publishing a collection of short mysteries as well as a memoir.
~ The late Reverend Patricia Noble, an author, educator, and speaker who aired radio essays and published journal articles.
~ The late Larry Sakin, a political writer, radio talk show host, and green energy entrepreneur active in civic and literacy projects.
OUR COMPLEMENTARY WORK
Over time, we became familiar with the depth of our fiction and non-fiction work and recognized our complimentary voices. This led to a book of eleven themed chapters of poems, short stories, historical articles, and reflective essays. Our intention was to allow readers to work their way through the book sequentially, or select from varied subjects.
The topics of our assembled pieces include: animal companions; business; the environment; history, mythology, personal relationships; phases of life; philosophy; politics; and, war. As most anthologies address a single theme, you may be wondering how we knitted the book together. We began by grouping our disparate works by topic and then placing them in chapters. Imagine our delight when Patricia recognized the synchronicity of flipping the words in the titles of our first and last chapters, “Visioning the Craft” and “Crafting the Vision.”
Production work was apportioned based on experience and interest. Because Kay possesses a well-modulated voice, we asked her to record the front piece material and chapter headings. Susan had been involved with the fabrication of other publications. Therefore, she undertook text layout to meet the requirements of hardcopy and Online production. We also benefited from the breadth of Bill’s technical knowledge and Patricia’s grammar checking.
While Larry obtained most of the art images in the book, I addressed the overall design. This included utilizing a sunset image shot from my back lānai for the cover, and folio art to frame pagination. Because of my work in historical projects, I also undertook preparing a comprehensive index.
THE AUDIO EDITION
As the majority of our group had performance experience, we immediately decided to produce an audio, as well as a written edition. We were fortunate that Larry had been working with Jim Waters of Tucson Waterworks Recording for several years. With confidence in both the man’s technical and directing talents, it was easy for each of us to enter the studio for one or more recording sessions. Once Jim had the raw material, he was able to smooth out differences in speed, cadence, and tone. His final work was to prepare our audio files in several formats.
IN SUMMATION…for now
Was our work perfect? I don’t believe so, but I hope we have met our listeners’ expectations of a work addressing multiple subjects in truly varied voices. You will be the judge of the strengths and weaknesses of the few areas of consideration I’ve raised in this brief project overview.
I think my greatest advice to you is to consider the individual gifts of anyone involved in such a project. This means being aware of yourself, as well as those with whom you are working. A well-produced audio book can generates income. It is also a wonderful way of enhancing recognition of your brand and introducing your work to a greater audience!
Please be aware that the voices you’ll hear in USS vary. And I’ll admit that not all of us would be appropriate to undertaking the reading of an entire book. Finally, none of us would suggest publishing a work in any form without the input of other established authors, let alone a professional editor and perhaps a performance coach….
Now without further ado, here are a few audio samples from Under Sonoran Skies, Prose and Poetry from the High Desert. I hope you’ll enjoy these selections and understand why it’s my pleasure to continue working with these talented authors.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief introduction to one of my favorite projects! I have kept notes on the processes that I have undertaken in recording my writings as well as experiences in oral history projects. At some point, I will assemble them into another blog, if not a self-help book. For additional notes on my preparation of scripts for public speaking and recording audio projects, you might like to visit Public Speaking 1.
Wishing you the best in your creative endeavors,
Jeanne Burrows-Johnson, author, consultant, and motivational speaker
To learn more about the award-winning Natalie Seachrist Hawaiian Mysteries, including Murders of Conveyance [Winner, Fiction Adventure-Drama, 2019 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards] and other projects, please drop in at my author’s website JeanneBurrows-Johnson.com. You’ll even find Island Recipes that might inspire your culinary creativity.
For more ideas to strengthen your Wordpower© and branding, please visit: Imaginings Wordpower and Design Consultation.