ACX author Dave Newell has written quite the interesting book in Red Lory, one that’s been described as a “dark, psychological literary puzzle.” He has also made it his mission to bring his tale to fans in every format available – Print, eBook, audio (via ACX of course) and even an upcoming movie. Dave joins us today to talk about having Red Lory made in audio, the importance of building relationships with other authors, and when not to listen to the audio version of The Shining.
ACX: Tell us about your current audiobook project.
Dave Newell: I still can’t believe I crossed the finish line! Working on the Red Lory audiobook taught me an incredible amount about writing. I owe much of that to Richard Henzel, the voice talent for the book. We had a lot of fun working together on it, discussing the book, its characters, and their motives. He took the time to understand it, and it shows through in his performance.
Producing an audiobook was the next logical step for Red Lory, after print and eBook. The book is a bit of a jigsaw puzzle in that all of the pieces fit with each other, but it’s up to the reader to interpret what the big picture is. Through the narrator’s interpretations of the book, the story becomes vibrant in an entirely different way.
What industry figures do you look to for advice?
I look to other like-minded authors for marketing advice. My advice would be not to get sidetracked online with trends and data and forget that your main responsibility is to continue writing. I’d also tell authors to look around and find a critique partner. I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside Melissa Perea, a Young Adult/Realistic Fiction author. She brings an entirely fresh perspective to my genre of Southern Gothic/Literary Fiction. Find authors out there and form a tight-knit community. A group like that is the first step toward success.
Has having your audio version produced changed the way you see your book or affected your writing?
Once again, I have to credit Richard. He’s an incredible voice actor. I now have a better idea of what elements can be added to future stories to enhance the reading experience and future audio productions. Hearing the words offers an immediately different perspective to a writer. A suggestion I now give to writers is to read their work out loud as they go along.
What advice do you have for other authors who are considering having their titles produced as audiobooks?
My first suggestion is to be patient. Sign up for ACX, list the book, but take your time in selecting someone to narrate it. You’ll receive auditions, and it’s an exciting time, but a patient approach is necessary. This is where your critique partner comes into play again. They’ll understand what it is you’re looking for when the auditions begin to roll in. Look for a voice actor whose voice matches but also one who understands your book.
Typically when I’m writing I try to isolate myself from books, audiobooks and movies so right now I’m not. However, I’ll tell you about the best audiobook experience I have ever had. One late December I was driving by myself in my rattletrap car from Ohio to South Carolina by way of West Virginia, praying the whole time that I wouldn’t break down. It was then that I made the mistake of a lifetime and began listening to The Shining. That’s when a heavy snow hit; I could see maybe ten feet ahead of me. I don’t know why, but I didn’t turn the book off. Between the blizzard in the story and the heavy snows falling on my car, the experience was incredible. Good news though! I made it home safely. Shaken but safe.
Are you the next ACX sucess story? Tell us in the comments!