To Audio or to Not Audio? by Stephen B. King

It’s the new year. Why not highlight a book about time travel? :)

Today, my guest is Stephen B. King…and a discussion of to audio…or not.

So without further ado…

by Stephen B. King

Many years ago, I was a long-haired guitarist in a rock band – I was pursuing a dream I’d had since childhood, which was to be on stage and play guitar. Prior to that I used to love writing short stories and poetry and once I was reasonably proficient at playing half a dozen chords, I wrote my first song. Of course, I thought it was one of the greatest songs of all time. Funny how time alters your vision, doesn’t it? Anyway, I played it for the band, and our lead female singer, Irene, loved the lyrics (which was great for my ego). So before we knew it, the band had its first original song to perform, which we did with gusto. Now, when you’re playing live, you can’t really listen as the audience does, because you’re concentrating on the job at hand. A bit like writing a book, really. What the reader reads can be different to what the author thought he, or she, wrote. Anyway, I digress. We did a full rehearsal and recorded it through the mixing desk, and then later over a beer, or six, listened to how we sounded.

I remember to this day, the goosebumps that sprang up on my arms when I heard for the first time He is the Dawn (corny title? You bet – this was the 70’s) . Here we are nearly forty years later and that memory has never left me. I went on to write a lot more songs, and had the pleasure of listening to  some pretty decent performers  sing then, but that goose-bumpy feeling of hearing something I wrote performed for the very first time was, and still is, indescribable.

Why am I boring you with this story? Well, very recently, I got to enjoy that experience all over again. I’m speaking of  when I heard the actor, hired by The Wild Rose Press, narrate my book, Thirty-Three Days, when it went to audio. The voice artist, Geoffrey Boyes, had done the first chapter as an audition, and Oh my God, the hairs rose on my arms as I listened through headphones to him read my words, and portray my characters. I can only imagine what it must feel like to write a movie, or TV show script, though that would not be the same due to a screenplay being different to the book. An audio is a reading of the original manuscript the author intended, and the voice actor interprets it. Thankfully, Geoffrey was hired, and went on to do the entire book which has since been released. He did a superb job, in my humble opinion.

Last night I was playing poker with a group of friends, and one of the guys, an electronics engineer, mentioned  that he was listening to Thirty-Three Days on audio. Of course my ears pricked up. He said he was about two thirds the way though, and couldn’t wait to get back to it to find out what happens next. He gushed what a great book it was and it was one of the finest ever he has read/listened to. The other six players at the table stopped playing and listened. Yes, discussion of my book on audio held up play while he lavished praise on the story, characters, and locations.

I think I am very fortunate with my publisher, The Wild Rose Press, that if you write a book over a certain wordage it goes to print rather than just Kindle, you can also send it to Audio by extending the rights period. I would urge anyone contemplating that option to take it. Trust me (I’m a car salesman! You will love that experience of hearing your work reproduced and performed. As my mum used to say, it’s worth more than all the tea in China.

Jenny is a lonely university lecturer who's consciousness has traveled back in time to her younger body to try to save the future of the world. A young microbiologist is going to release a genetically modified wheat that will mutate and ultimately destroy all plant life, leaving nothing but barren, windswept dust bowls.

In the past, Jenny finds a love that has been missing from her life - the kind that comes just once in a lifetime. But Jenny can stay in that time period for only 33 days.

Meanwhile, in the future, fearful Jenny will fail, plans are made to send another back in time - an assassin. How can she choose between saving the man she loves and saving the future?

Find Thirty-Three Days on Amazon or iTunes.

Excerpt from Thirty-Three Days:

Here goes, I’m about to bait the hook. “Well, let’s take Brad for example. He wants to genetically modify food sources to make them grow more efficiently to feed the starving millions; which is a wonderfully noble ideal. But, what if he gets it wrong somehow; instead of feeding the world, he kills it?”

“How could that happen, hypothetically, of course?”

“Oh, I don’t know, it’s a bit like when I talked about cane toads the other night. They introduced them to solve a problem, a serious one from a productivity point of view. But all it did was create a far more, wide-reaching, issue which has now achieved epidemic proportions. Wouldn’t it be great if we could go back in time and stop them doing that somehow? Go back to the guy who had the brilliant idea to import a toad that, because of our ecology, was fundamentally destructive. Millions of native animals have perished because of the cane toad and some are near extinct. So, suppose Brad could change the structure of his grain, but the nature of the change allows some otherwise hitherto unknown disease to grow, and spread only because he modified it from its original structure.”

“But surely there are safeguards in place to stop that very thing happening? If somehow it did occur, they would just change it back, or find a cure.”

“Iain, you can start a bushfire by lighting a match, but blowing it out doesn’t stop the conflagration, does it? In this theoretical discussion, maybe the change would occur so slowly, and in such a diverse way, it takes years for us to track down the source of the disease. And, unfortunately, by the time we do, it’s too late; it would have spread to all sorts of other food sources. You can have all the safeguards in the world, but when industry sees a way to make a lot of money, it’s funny how often those rules and safeguards are ignored. We have seen it happen all too often. Thalidomide, comes to mind. That was a drug developed to help pregnant women with morning sickness, and wow wasn’t there money to be made from a wonder drug like that? Thousands of children were then born with deformities or were stillborn. It was horrific.”

“You keep saying ‘we’ and ‘us’ like you are from the future….” He looked at her, strangely, and Jenny just stared back, her head tilted slightly to one side as she gave a small shrug. She took a sip of her wine, choosing to neither deny nor confirm his suggestion.

Back in November, Stephen also stopped by to chat about a suspense series he’s working on.

For more from Stephen, find him here:
Twitter: @stephenBKing1
Facebook: @stephenbkingauthor

Thanks for stopping by!