I have just begun two new audiobook projects. Having been intrigued with the idea of branching out from non-fiction after finishing the grueling, 411-page French and Indian War narration, I took a look on the ACX site for some promising fiction titles. My friend, Carl Hausman, has had success in narrating several books in the western genre, so I went looking for something in that vein.
I found several, and downloaded the auditions for a couple of them that seemed like something I might have a shot at, so to speak.
I recorded the two audition scripts and submitted them for consideration by the rights holders.
The first one I submitted was for a book by a talented writer named Darrel Sparkman titled Spirit Trail. I liked the story, and the writing was lively and engaging. A day or two later I was offered the project. And the rights holder asked if I would be interested in producing a second book by the same author titled Osage Dawn. I was.
I’ve made a good beginning on the two books, which I find more entertaining to narrate than some of the more erudite material I’ve done recently. And I get to be an actor playing all the parts.
Just as my momentum was beginning to establish itself, however, I had to pause for a few days due to a hazard faced by all of us who do this stuff, namely I got a head cold.
I get one every fall after I go back to teaching. It could be from my students, or from my grandchildren, who find the latest and greatest rhinovirus within a few weeks of beginning school. I studiously avoided contact with the girls when they came down with colds a couple weeks ago, so I suspect mine was delivered via some errant contact with the artifacts of academic activities generated by my Millersville University students.
Whatever the source, the colds I get have the diabolical trait of invariably settling in my throat. My voice becomes a resonant but sick-sounding basso profondo for a couple of days and then just goes a way completely for a few more days. A week or so later, it returns to its usual baritone, subject occasionally to the disruption of a rumbling cough erupting from my chest.
There is no chance of recording narration for a book project in the voice -deepened phase of this process. In fact one project I recently did included strict written guidelines that specifically forbade submitting anything done under the influence of cold symptoms of any type.
If this enforced hiatus had to occur, now is probably as good a time as any. If I were on a deadline to submit a project, I’d miss it, throwing off not only the expectations of my client, but possibly necessitating some heroic juggling of commitments and plans that would be disruptive if not ruinous on some levels.
I do have a submission deadline for a sample of the second western quite soon. It’s a very short recording, though, and my cold appears to be in retreat, so I’ll probably make it alright, though it will be tight.
Because I foolishly believe that cosmic justice dictates that I’m only required to acquire one cold per season I’m confident that I’ve now put my brush with infection behind me for now.
So I’ll soon head back into my cozy dark studio, sit before the mic, my western books displayed on the computer screen and my voice emanating vibrations in its normal register.
Wish me luck, Pardner.