The Sound and the Fury of Audiobooks.
December 6, 2013
I have read a lot of words in my lifetime.
I have written a lot of words.
But none of them indifferent.
Now I have heard my words.
And it was an amazing and humbling experience.
Stephen Woodfin has become the voice of Caleb and Linda Pirtle.
He has built his own recording studio, and he is quickly becoming one of the top narrators for audiobooks in the country. He already has four novels on audible.com, and he vanishes into the catacombs every day to knock out chapters on another book.
Narration is rapidly becoming an art form all of its own.
Stephen provided the voice for my World War II thriller, Secrets of the Dead. As the book’s blurb points out:
Ambrose Lincoln is one of the government’s prized operatives, a trained assassin, a man whose past is continually erased by mind control tactic and shock treatments.
His days have no meaning. He no longer fears death. As far as he is concerned, a man without a memory is a man who’s already dead.
From Germany come rumors of a mad man threatening to rule Europe and maybe the world. On the Night of Broken Glass, his browns shirts and storm troopers move into Baden-Baden and begin their methodical termination of the Jews.
In America, so far away, the violence is nothing more than a protest over a Jewish boy who murdered a German diplomat because the Third Reich had removed and maybe killed his family. It was simply a case of vandalism that got out of hand. No one is concerned, and the American government wants to keep it that way. No one in Washington wants to go to war with Hitler, and President Roosevelt continues to preach neutrality.
But word is leaked that one Jewish photographer took pictures of the rampage of brutality and murder that night. He was killed, but his daughter is in hiding with the film. Ambrose Lincoln is dispatched to Baden-Baden with one charge. Find the film and bring it back. It will tell the truth. It will uncover the lies. The photographs will reveal to the world the sadistic threat that exists for everyone if Hitler’s mad march isn’t stopped. His mission is to uncover the deadly secrets that his own government doesn’t want him to find, secrets that can change history.
I thought I knew the story pretty well. After all, I had made it up from the dark corners of my own curious mind, and I had written it.
On audiobook, Secrets of the Dead became a brand new story.
Whether a narrator consciously realizes or not, he or she brings an entirely new and different interpretation to the novel and, in particular, to its characters.
I listened, totally mesmerized.
Stephen Woodfin’s voice created the mood, the suspense, the fear, and those moments of stark terror that I had hoped to inject in the story.
On audiobook, the 1940s were alive again.
A mad man was loose in Europe.
A war was threatening to erupt.
The Night of Broken Glass would wreck havoc on a whole race of people
And millions would die.
Hope gone awry.
The audiobook had all the drama of an old-time radio show, the kind that Orson Welles might have created long before we put sound to sight and called it television.
I was on the edge of my seat.
I had no idea what might happen next.
I knew my protagonist, Ambrose Lincoln, was in trouble.
He might die at any minute.
I wasn’t so sure he would escape this time.
When the narration ended and when it was all said and done, however, I only had one regret.
I wish I had written Secrets of the Dead as well as Stephen read it.
Please click the audiobook to read more about the audiobook thriller on Audible.