I've been very busy squirrelled away getting the Angel's Great Escape ebook ready for this Christmas and I'm excited to say it's now been submitted for review to both iBooks and Amazon. I'm very pleased to announce that the book is also going to be published in the first week of December on Me Books, an independent eBookshop app for children aged 2-10 where you can buy books, comics and bedtime stories for your little ones.
Kindle doesn't yet support read along narration but the iBooks version of the story will have highlighted text read by our new narrator David McMullan, an experienced theatre actor who has starred in shows such as Hairspray and Mary Poppins in the West End. I can't wait for everyone to hear his fabulous narration. Excitingly Me Books will not only have David's narration but you will also be able to tap every character to hear them speak (in David's seventeen different character voices)!
We had a really fun day recording the narration with lots of tea and chocolate digestives. We recorded the full story about four times as this allowed David's voice to warm up and to get used to the rhythm of the text. We then talked in detail about the character voices, discussing the accents they would have and how they would speak. I had written the 'asides' for each character and David read them four or five times each, varying his tone. Steve, my fantastic soundman, helped to direct and advised if he felt more emphasis was needed. I feel really lucky to have had the opportunity to work with two such professionals and am looking forward to sharing the result.
Arranging the recording of the narration myself has been a big learning curve. Here are a couple of things I have learnt.
* Sound is complex! And simple all at once. Get some proper advice about exactly what type of files are required for each platform. I needed 41,000 Hz 16 bit .wavs and mp3s saved at a rate of 128. I had no idea what it meant either!
* I confess I'm a bit of a nerd so downloaded a free trial of Adobe Audition to clip the audio, i.e. cut out the bits we didn't need. I watched lots of tutorials online and it was really satisfying doing it myself.
* The story had been copy-edited but the 'asides' for the characters had only been read by me. Hearing them in David's voice(s!) made me change some of the phrases a little and as it was just a small team, we had the chance to be as flexible as we wanted to be.
So, not long now until you will be able to see the results of all the collaborations it has taken to put the book together. In some ways it's been almost ten years in the making! And I've still got the print version to go... But before that, while I'm waiting for the iBooks and Amazon review, I think I'll just have a little lie down. And perhaps just one more chocolate digestive...