I love hearing what inspired other writers to write their novels, and I suspect I am not alone in this. Actually I know I am not alone! This month my backlist novels are all being published as audiobooks, and to celebrate this my publisher has asked me to film myself talking about the inspiration for each one. Just short clips of about a minute per book - 5 books to do - are needed, and my publisher will use them to promote the books.
May I just point out at this stage that I am a writer, not an actor. I can easily write a piece on what inspired each book - and many of the books have an author's note at the end telling the story behind the story. But to have to actually talk, like, articulate actual words out of my mouth without um, er, stumbling and st-stuttering and you know, er, hesitating and stuff... that's really hard.
As preparation for this filming, which as I write this I have not yet done, I wrote myself a couple of hundred words on each book to use as a prompt. Then I thought I'd make use of my son who has a First in Drama, who's been living with us since the pandemic struck, and ask him to be my audience while I rehearsed the pieces.
First bit of feedback is that it sounds awful when I simply read out what I've written. I tried again, without the notes, just talking off the top of my head, stutters and hesitation and all, and my son thought it far better. So that's what I am going to do.
It's my job for this afternoon to get these recorded and sent to the marketing department. Might need a couple of takes for each one! Better go and brush my hair and put some make-up on (what's that? Haven't used it in months) and then get on with it. Must remember to hold the paperback of each book too.
I will be glad when this is done!
Post-script, written a few hours after the above.
Oh My God that was a painful process. It seems I cannot speak AT ALL. Took about twenty attempts to get the piece for one book right, as I kept stumbling over the first sentence and then getting the giggles. My son is going to put together a blooper reel. I may have to wear a paper bag over my head for the rest of my days.
The video clip below is one of the many, many bloopers.