Do you have an ear for fiction? by Jacki Delecki

Do you have an ear for fiction?

By: Jacki Delecki

 9_12 JackiDelecki_ACodeofLove_1400A few months ago I was invited to do an audio version of my book, “A Code of Love.” I enthusiastically accepted the offer, never anticipating how different it would be to create a book based on sound instead of written words. Not only was the creative process different, but I also discovered enjoying books on audio offers an entirely different experience as compared to reading them.

Before delving into the creative side of audio book production, let me tell you a little bit about the technical side. ACX is the DIY branch of Amazon Audible. ACX provides support services for authors who want to release their book in audio format, serving as an interface of sorts. Authors can audition narrators and hire producers for assistance, or you can do everything yourself. Once a narrator is selected, the recording process starts. That’s a lot of listening and then collaborating with the voice actor to produce a finished product.

Now for a look at some of the creative challenges.

Written books and audio books share some similarities. Authors spend a lot of time constructing sentences and choosing words to inspire specific moods and emotions. And using the wrong pacing or inconsistent characterization can ruin any book, written or audio.

When readers listen to a story, the words still matter, but the delivery format changes. Instead of being distracted by misspellings or typos as in written books, readers will be pulled out of an audio story if the narrator stumbles over words or doesn’t match the tone of the tale.

“A Code of Love” is a romantic mystery set in Regency England. Both the hero and the heroine are members of the privileged class, meaning they are intelligent, cultured and subject to societal standards. It wasn’t enough to hire anyone with a British accent to narrate my book. I wanted—no, needed—someone who sounded like an upper-crust Brit. And because it’s a story of scandal, intrigue and danger, I required a narrator capable of infusing this drama into her voice.

9_12 Pearl HewittI eventually hired Pearl Hewitt, a British voice actor based in Texas. Not only did she “sound” perfect, but her experience in producing audio books helped to shorten my own learning curve. As Pearl recorded each chapter, I would carefully listen and give approval or ask for modifications. Eventually we worked our way through the entire book.

Once the book was finished and I finally sat down to listen to the story from start to finish, I found myself drawn into the story like never before. Pearl’s vocal inflections added depth and dimension to my characters, enriching my mental vision of them. I also found myself filling in sounds that were missing from the soundtrack, but which would have been heard in Regency London: the clop of horses’ hooves on cobblestone, the creak of saddles and buggies, the calls and shouts from street merchants and vendors.

It was pretty amazing to “hear” Lady Henrietta Harcourt and Lord Cordelier Rathbourne. I’m happy to report they sounded exactly as I had imagined.

Visit my website to enjoy an audio excerpt or the book trailer for “A Code of Love” and let me know what you hear.

Author Bio: 9_12 jackiHeart-pounding adventure filled with danger, intrigue and romance from Jacki Delecki, award-winning author of the Regency suspense series “The Code Breakers” and the contemporary mystery series “Grayce Walters.” Visit to learn more about Jacki and sign-up for her newsletter. Follow her on Facebook (Jacki Delecki Author) and Twitter (@jackidelecki).


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