All authors probably yearn to hear their work read aloud. OK, we might twitch a little when it comes to the parts with sex or parts that hit too close to home personally, but there's that bit of us that wants to hear how someone else would interpret the story. We know how we hear it in our heads, but how would it sound to someone else?
I never thought I'd be able to have that moment. Narration was far more expensive than I could contemplate. For many years, my publishers all felt the same. Too expensive. Not cost-effective. You'd never sell enough audio books to make a profit.
Then ACX/ Audible arrived. Now you had a place to produce your own work, to negotiate with the talent, to perhaps make things happen. When Mischief Corner Books decided to go the ACX route and asked for what work we'd like to put out there for auditions, I cautiously slid Hell for the Company over the table. It's not a long story, a fun space romp. Someone would want to narrate it, right? But even on ACX, you have to attract the talent. The first few auditions were disapointing, just not at all what I was hoping for.
Luckily, a few things happened at just the right time, which sometimes happens even for miscreants like me. The lovely folks from the WROTE podcast (then the 3 M/Musketeers podcast) began airing their episodes and I listened to them avidly. A place just for queer fiction authors in podcasting! They were nice enough to have me as a guest and I've been more than happy to fill in as co-host when they were shorthanded. The thing that struck me was that they had among themselves and their guests some of the most gorgeous voices. So I asked - both hosts and guests - do any of you ever do narration?
As a matter of fact, Vance Bastian, one of the hosts, said, yes. He was just starting to get himself set up on ACX as a narrator and if I could bear with him, we might give it a go. Now I was excited and nervous. Here was someone I know and like, someone I deal with outside of the narrator role, and he was going to read for me. What if it didn't work? What if the voice in his head didn't match mine?
Ah, but they did. And when they didn't quite, he made sure to adjust them for me, checking in with me every step of the way. Instead of a terrible slog through auditions and settling for someone sort of good enough, I got the perfect narrator for the story who was professional and knowledgeable and made it all so damn easy.
Vance is my voice of Shax, but he's also my hero. Heroes come in all sorts of sizes and circumstances. When you find someone who wants to understand your vision of a story and wants to bring it to life? No guns blazing, no swords drawn, but that's the sort of everyday hero who makes projects like this possible.
(In case you're looking for Vance, look no further than vancebastian.com)
Hell for the Company: Brimstone 1
Now available in audio - with the voice talents of Vance Bastian
Shax, the demon prince of thieves, has reconciled himself to exile. He has a grand time careening around the galaxy as a high-end, intergalactic purloiner of pretties. Everything's going just fine, thank you very much. All right, fine, the anti-gravity cows are a bit problematic and some of his buyers are bad for his health, but he manages until he comes across an injured angel in a psychedelic alien jungle.
He only rescues the wing boy for his golden feathers, but what Shax doesn't know about angels could fill an intergalactic encyclopedia.
Angel writes (mostly) Science Fiction and Fantasy centered around queer heroes. Currently living part time in the hectic sprawl of northern Delaware and full time inside her head, she has one husband, one son, two cats, a love of all things beautiful and a terrible addiction to the consumption of both knowledge and chocolate.