Updated: Apr 13
Over a year ago now, I asked a friend if he would help me produce the audiobook version of my book, The Divine Daughter. Imagine my surprise when he said yes! I don't think he knew what he was getting into...
At one point, his wife found him staring into the files on his screen. She heard my voice steadily rolling out in a stream from the speakers. He had already put in many hours on the project.
"What are you doing?"
"Andrew's audiobook. Editing"
"Still? You are too good of a friend..."
Special thanks goes out to Baz and Sound Cellar Studio. He's my sound guy with the good microphone, the quiet studio, the loving wife, and the patience to do all the editing. He made me sound professional and consistent and efficient.
I owe him.
One problem we encountered - lockdown. Baz and his wife are both front-line workers. There were long stretches where they weren't sure they wanted anyone in the house besides family, and weren't sure what they were exposed to at work.
So, I took whatever studio time I could get here or there.
Neil Gaiman has a story about how he wrote the story Coraline. His own daughter was about 5. He started it, got distracted with other commitments, and then realized his daughter was now a teenager. His younger daughter was now about 5. He tried again.
I bought a notebook, and started to write in it. It sat on my bedside table, and for the next couple of years I would scrawl fifty words, sometimes a hundred words, every night, before I went to sleep. A three-day train journey across America was an opportunity to work, uninterrupted, on Coraline. Getting stuck on American Gods, a long novel I was working on, gave me the opportunity I needed to finish Coraline’s story. A year later I wrote a chapter I had meant to write but had never got around to, and Coraline was finished.
Creative projects have their own sense of scheduling. They arrive at their destinations after warping time and space and every imaginable sense you thought you could trust. It's a year later for me. I completed the audiobook version... but things still do not feel finished.
In many ways, my book is a conversation. Perhaps the audiobook is a good medium for it, a chance for the listener to experience the cadence of the thoughts and the repeated patterns in the book.
Good conversations between friends don't ever really end. Friends have a way of picking up a conversation wherever it left off last time. I hope that is what the audiobook version of The Divine Daughter does for you.