Sometime last year, I was approached by Cherry Hill Publishing to ask if I’d be interested in them producing an audiobook of Sin. I immediately responded with a resounding YES! I was flattered and so pleased to be asked.
But... What do you do when the voice in your head is going to be someone else’s? Sin is my creation. He’s a huge part of me – you’ve seen me refer to him as my ‘Dark Half’. Of course, in my head, he sounds like me.
The original idea was for me to narrate myself. That sounded like great – Sin would sound, pretty much, how he was meant to. Unfortunately, I had sinus problems. I had nasal polyps and obliterated sinuses. As such I could only speak for a short time before needing to take a drink or blow my nose. Trying to narrate a book like this was not a good idea. Also, as I know the story and the character, I also read it too fast. I didn’t pace myself.
R.D. Watson to the rescue!
Roger, a grammy nominated record producer who has worked with The Beatles, Roy Orbison, Tina Turner, Billy Idol, Tim Rice and Blondie to name a few (and pretty much discovered Huey Lewis) is the voice of a great many television adverts and much more. He’s also a well spoken southerner, whereas I’m a decent enough (I think) spoken Northerner. As I mentioned, Sin sounds a certain way in my head. It wasn’t like Roger’s voice.
There were a couple of test goes, where he laid a smidgeon of accent over his narration, but it sounded a bit ‘Yorkshire’ for my liking. I’m from Grimsby. I’m not entirely sure how we come across to others, to be fair, but Yorkshire is a wee bit too strong for Sin.
Roger was intent on getting it right. We spoke on Skype a number of times so he could find out who I was, who I perceived Sin to be and what my own voice was like. Then he ran with it.
I was excited. I was nervous. Apprehensive, in fact. What would it come out like? Would Roger really just not suit Sin?
I know Sin is my own book. I know the narration is the narration of my own book. But I love it!
If you don’t know how I speak, you may have no preconceptions of how Sin should. Granted, Sin is a narration in itself – he’s telling you his own story. As such, you will probably already hear him yourself, as I do. Don’t worry. Remember Sin is part of me. Before very long I was completely drawn in by Roger’s telling of the novel. His voice has a warmth and... gravity to it which adds depth and I love how he adds in little laughs and stumbles deliberately to show how Sin is feeling.
Most importantly, Roger gets Sin. This is important, to me at least. You can’t simply read the words. You have to know how he feels when Sin is talking to you.
Even my 80 year old grandmother-in-law, who doesn’t ‘do’ paranormal and the like, was enjoying listening to the audiobook as I had it playing in the car. My ten year old daughter too. Roger’s voice draws you in. It makes you feel comfortable whilst talking to you about people dying. I was genuinely not looking forward to coming to the end.
I don’t know how other authirs have felt when a voice is put to their work, and that voice is not their own. Did you meet with the same trepidation? Did you end up thinking you’d made a mistake, or something wonderful was created? I have to say the latter.
Yes, it’s my book, but I don’t have to like the audiobook. The fact that I think something wonderful was created, is a bonus!
I have to thank the lovely Connie J. Jasperson for her amazing review. Here’s a couple of snippet:
“Today I am discussing the most recent of my audio-book purchases, Sin. I have in the past referred to the written version of this book by indie author Shaun Allan as "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest meets Finnegan’s Wake." Beautiful plays on sarcastic, witty words formed into lyrical, wonderful prose. I thought the written book was wonderful, but I am here to tell you, the Audio Book as read by R.D. Watson is nothing short of AWESOME!“
“R.D. Watson's reading of Allan's shining, witty, prose is moving and brilliant in every aspect. He gets into Sin's head, and you are completely spellbound.”
“This book is a roller-coaster ride from the start to the finish, and I give it 5 stars for originality, and if I could I would give this audio-book version TEN!”
What can I say, except Thank You!
If you wish to take a peek, and would like the voices not to be just in Sin’s head, you can get the audiobook in a multitude of places: