Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Emily Ryan-Davis Guest Blog - My Words, Someone Else's Voice

Hi Everyone, guest blog today with Emily Ryan-Davis. Emily, take it away!

Hello Nicole’s Readers! I’m visiting this week to talk about one of my Writing Firsts: hearing someone else’s voice speaking my words.

At the end of August, AudioMinx released my first audio book MATING CALL. MATING CALL is more than my first audio book; it’s also my first published thing in general. I learned a great deal while writing MATING CALL; most important, I learned how to showcase my voice.

Those of you who are writers will understand the significance of that discovery. An author’s voice makes something so much more undeniably hers than something like a byline or a copyright. An author’s voice makes her work distinct.

I’m not sure how must people write, but I know how I write. Words sound themselves out in my head, complete with inflection, drops in tone or rises in pitch. I don’t write to music but my words follow some kind of rhythm devised in my mind. They sound right.

Prior to listening to the proofs of MATING CALL, I never had opportunity to hear someone else speaking words I’d written. We’re all told “read your manuscript out loud so you can catch errors you wouldn’t spot with your eyes,” and I’ve read my words out loud, but a self-reading is not the same as a stranger reading. Not at all.

Listening to MATING CALL, I experienced a multitude of reactions. Embarrassment: had I really written the p-word as many times as the voice actress is saying it? Dismay: She’s not inflecting where I would inflect. Surprise: OMG, I wrote that? It’s awesome! And sheepishness: I can’t believe I’ve been pronouncing that word wrong all these years. – Those are only a few reactions.

I hate the sound of my own voice coming from a recording and in a way, listening to someone else speaking my words was similar to hearing that dreaded sound of my voice. It was also a strangely different experience – just one I hadn’t expected at all.

One thing that stuck with me through the proof-listening of MATING CALL was curiosity. Are readers really not reading with the same voice I wrote with? How does the sound of their inner voice change my story? One thing I know about the audio book version is everybody will be reading with the same voice, everybody will be experiencing the same story without any room for applying their own perception, and…it’s an odd thing to realize.

Writers, if you have an opportunity to see your work produced in audio format, I highly recommend you go for it. An audio book is a remarkable, unique first. Listening to the audio for DRAGON DANCE, the second in the Dragon Queen series, left me with moments of out-loud laughter and goose-bumpy awe and a whole new opportunity to realize I wrote that and it was actually pretty good.

If you’re interested in a chance to win a download of the MATING CALL audio, leave a comment letting me know whether you read in your own voice, or whether you hear the author’s voice as you go along. I’m curious. : )

And thank you for suffering my brief invasion of Nicole’s site!


MATING CALL is the first of a paranormal romance serial trilogy crammed full of dragons both solid and ephemeral. Books two and three, DRAGON DANCE and DRAGON BOUND, will be releasing in September and November of this year (don't forget Tuesdays are discount days at AudioMinx).

Emily Ryan-Davis writes for Ellora's Cave, Liquid Silver Books and Freya's Bower. News of projects, releases and blog appearances can be found at MATING CALL, DRAGON DANCE and DRAGON BOUND are currently available in electronic and print format at Freya's Bower.


Christina Lee said...

THAT would be sooo crazy and awesome to listen to. and I get how you would go through all of those emotions.

Ithink we all read in our own version fo the characters. Case in point: when I heard Suzanne Colllins read Mockingjay's fisst chapter in a southern twang, I fell off my chair. No way did I think the MC was southern-sounding!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I'm not sure I'd want to hear my book read by someone else . . . and I'm certainly not going to do it. I'd be too embarrassed in both situations.

I couldn't imagine Katniss with a southern twang, either.

Lisa Rusczyk said...


Hardygirl said...

What fun--to hear your book!!!