Hear Me, See Me

Be reassured!  My ego isn’t going nuts.  Jim and I were listening to the album Tommy, by The Who, this weekend.  When I sat down to write about a couple of neat new things going on related to my work, but outside of the realm of print, I couldn’t resist the echo.

Small Rodents aka Guinea Pigs

Small Rodents aka Guinea Pigs

The first “hear me, see me” is to announce that the rest of the Snack Reads You Tube interviews with Josh Gentry are now available.   Josh is the fellow who brought out my short story, “Hamlet Revisited,” as well as my collaboration with Fred Saberhagen, “Servant of Death.”

You can find them at http://www.snackreads.com/category/interviews/jane-lindskold/

The second “hear me” is a new development I’m really excited about.   Artemis Awakening will be produced as an audio book from Audible.  This is the first time one of my novels has been done as an audio book.  As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I’m a serious audio-book junkie, so this is nearly as neat as having my first book come out.

Right now I’m listening to a biography of Winston Churchill’s early life.  Before that I listened to David McGinnis Gill’s excellent, if very odd, Soul Enchilada.  Each of these productions has featured a certain amount of interpretation on the part of the reader.  The Churchill reader does an imitation of Churchill’s distinctive accent when reading quotations from Churchill’s letters or speeches.  The reader for Soul Enchilada does a phenomenal job of providing the widely varied accents of not only the El Paso, Texas, teenagers who are the main characters, but also of various devils, one of whom speaks (sometimes) with a British accent.

Now that I’m going to have the chance to hear one of my own novels read by a professional, I find myself wondering what it’s going to sound like.  At this year’s Bubonicon, GOH’s Brent Weeks and Tim Powers were asked how they felt about the audio productions of their works.  Tim Powers said he never listened to his stories read because he didn’t want to hear them interpreted.  (Of course, he also admitted he doesn’t do readings because going to readings bores him.)

Brent Weeks told a very funny story about how one of his tough guy characters was given a “surfer dude” accent – something that drove those familiar with the series crazy.  Ironically, when the audio book company responded to protests and changed the reader, listeners familiar with the first interpretation started complaining.

I’ve never listened to someone read one of my stories.  A good friend gave me the audio book production of  the anthology In Fire Forged, which includes my novella, “Ruthless.”  I haven’t screwed up my courage to listen to it yet, but I probably should.  I wasn’t asked anything about pronunciations of names and some of the space ships are named for my cats, who have very odd names indeed.

(I named the ships after the cats as placeholders, in case David Weber needed to put in the proper nomenclature for the Honorverse.  Turns out there wasn’t a set nomenclature, so now the Honorverse has ships named after my cats.  I wonder what the reader made of names like Kwahe’e, Ogapoge, and Pryderi?)

I’ve heard good things about Audible productions, so maybe someone will get in touch if they have any questions for me about Artemis Awakening.  Really, though, as long as the reading is clear, easy on the ear, and not too insane in interpretation, I think I’ll be happy.

What else?  I had an experience this weekend that I found oddly amusing.  My agent, Kay McCauley, was in the area and threw a large literary party to which she invited not only her clients (myself, George R.R. Martin, Melinda Snodgrass, Ian Tregillis, Vic Milan, and others), but also some luminaries of the publishing world who were in town.  These included editor Patrick Nielsen Hayden of Tor Books.

I’ve worked with Patrick on and off for years.  (His wife, Teresa, was my editor for the Firekeeper series, Child of a Rainless Year, and The Buried Pyramid.)  However, for various reasons, we hadn’t met in person for many years.   As a literature student, I’d often read about high profile writers’ groups, such as the Inklings (which included C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien) or the Algonquin Round Table (aka “The Vicious Circle).  I wondered what sorts of topics were discussed.

Well, now I can let you in on the secret.  Take a high level editor and a prolific author.  Put them together and they’ll discuss…  small rodents.  Seriously.  Patrick and I had a lovely time talking about guinea pigs and hamsters, the variations in their personalities, and surprising intelligence.  He even showed me videos of his and Teresa’s current co-resident, the hamster, Sophie.

Oh…  We discussed other things, too, even literary things, but I think we had the most fun with rodents.  And fun’s important.   In fact, Tom Doherty of Tor Books, who was also at the party, summed it up best over dinner: “I have the best job in the world.  I get to read for a living.”

I’ll agree with Tom.  I get to read too… and write!

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9 Responses to “Hear Me, See Me”

  1. winterflames Says:

    I loved Ruthless, and considering some of the other ship names in the Honorverse, i hadn’t given your ship names a pause. (Honorverse ships seem to be named by theme, and i have never really been able to discern the theme until someone else pointed them out anyway. Of course, sometimes that someone is a character…) I always wondered if the Worlds of Honor Anthologies were on CD, but had never actually put any effort into finding them… now I shall have to!

    And on a slight off topic bit, i love reading your blogs!

  2. Chad Merkley Says:

    I think I basically ignored the ship names in “Ruthless”, and sort of just mentally abbreviated them all to the first letters. I did recognize Pryderi as something related to Wales or Welsh mythology. I didn’t know any other details at the time. But it looks like one of these days I’m going to have to actually read the Mabinogion.

  3. Tori Says:

    Very excited that Artemis Awakening will be an audio book!! I will probably read the print version first and then listen to the audiobook to “re-read” it when working in the lab.

    P.S. I see that they finally got the cover up on Amazon! Squee!!

  4. Other Jane Says:

    That’s a hoot. Outsiders would think you’d discuss stories, plot, characters, changes in the industry, mutual acquaintances… Interesting that instead you just connect one-to-one and discuss pets and a shared passion.

    • janelindskold Says:

      Yeah… That’s what I bet most English professors think, too. I did some reading on The Algonquin Round Table and in addition to carping at each other and the world in general, they played board and card games!

  5. Paul Says:

    Beloved pets aren’t a bad thing for any two people to discuss, any time. Thanks to Tori for letting us know about the “Artemis Awakening” cover being up on Amazon (I just sneaked over and saw it, along with my pre-order of the book). I understand Tim Powers’ not wanting to hear how someone else “re-interprets” his work — but every reader does exactly that, and listening to a reader might provide him feedback that would help future endeavors.

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