Believe it or not, I just found out that Gizmo (my "old" Kindle from 2010) can play audiobooks. Pretty cool, huh? What's even cooler is that three of my writer pals have recently had their work transmuted into audio format, and their audiobooks are now available on both Amazon and iTunes.
To share about his journey from text to audio, please welcome fellow speculative fiction author Roland Yeomans to In Medias Res for an informative interview:
Milo: How would you describe your work in one sentence?
Roland: Roger Zelazny coined a phrase for the kind of writing he did: science fantasy -- and that is my word for my work, too. I'm very taken by mythology. I read it at a very early age and kept on reading it. Before I discovered science fiction I was reading mythology. And from that I got interested in comparative religion and folklore and related subjects. And when I began writing, it was just a fertile area I could use in my stories.
What is your process like? Are you a pantster/plotter/hybrid?
Often the character will occur to me, and I say to myself: what would be an interesting problem for that person to have to survive or solve? Other times, the crisis will rear its Hydra head in my mind, and I will have to think what hero would prove riveting in that sort of mess. I have a general idea where I want to go, and then I let my characters loose to make of their gauntlet what they would. In the words of Roger Zelazny: "Occasionally, there arises a writing situation where you see an alternative to what you are doing, a mad, wild gamble of a way for handling something, which may leave you looking stupid, ridiculous or brilliant — you just don't know which. You can play it safe there, too, and proceed along the route you'd mapped out for yourself. Or you can trust your personal demon who delivered that crazy idea in the first place. Trust your demon." I try to trust my demon. :-)
Lately you've had many of your books produced for audio -- what's that been like?
It's too early to tell just yet. Each voice actor/actress that I have worked with so far has been excellent. But life is a harsh mistress, and storms in their personal lives can stall the process.
For authors out there considering having their work produced as audiobooks, what advice would you give them?
I have only dealt with ACX, but since they offer a Royalty Share where you do not have to put a dime to get your book done, it seems the way to go. Audible takes its cut and then you share 50-50 with the narrator. It takes the narrator 8 hours total work for each audio hour, so for an 8 hour book (the average time), the narrator will have spent 64 hours that she/he cannot get back. So to get them to gamble that much precious time, you have to write a sales pitch on your book's ACX page that will persuade them you are a good gamble: How many visitors per month do you get on your blog? How many Twitter followers do you have? How many good reviews did your novel receive? How high in Amazon's sales ranking did your novel go? What outside factors might stir interest in your novel being made into an audio book? Are you a one-hit wonder, or are there books in your backlist that the narrator can look forward to doing if your audio book garners high sales?
Where can we find your audiobooks?
You can find my audiobooks at Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. Check out The Bear with two Shadows, French Quarter Nocturne, and The Last Shaman.
So, what do you think? Ready to take the audio route yourself?