What an AMAZING week!
I’m so happy to be rounding out the first week of
Jamie’s tour for Barking Mad
here on Bewitched Bookworms.
And if you haven’t yet heard about the awesomeness that’s on tour this week, check this out!
About Jamie Ridenhour – website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads
Jamieson Ridenhour is the author of Barking Mad: A Reginald Spiffington Mystery, available from Typecast Publishing in June of 2011. He is the editor of the Valancourt edition of Sheridan Le Fanus 1872 lesbian vampire novella Carmilla, as well as creator of the award-winning short fairy-tale horror film Cornerboys.
The South Carolina native now lives in Bismarck, ND, where he writes poetry about movie monsters and murder-mysteries with werewolves in them. He also plays wicked lead guitar with Bismarck-based rock and roll band Blind Mice, lectures on vampires and Charles Dickens (though not at the same time), and generally frolics on the plains. He lives with his wife Gwyn and their two children Ian and Eva.
The scene is werewolfishly classic English fare.
And tonight the moon hangs as full as a royal pie plate in this inaugural Reginald Spiffington mystery when the none too obsequious playboy, Reggie, sets out for a delectably long weekend at Huffsworthy Hall to assist his dear friend, Moony, in his failing endeavor to take the hand of his lady-love and to partake in the culinary talents of the genius chef running the kitchen.
With no one reason more important than the next, he’ll be off straight after breakfast. Reggie’s itinerary for the weekend turns abruptly less toothsome when he decides to solve the unexpected murder of another of the Hall s guests, a guest whose luggage is secretly packed full of nefarious plans.
Soon, all Huffsworthy’s inhabitants are potential suspects, including Reggie s saucy, quick-witted love-interest, Mimsy Borogrove. Aided by his invaluable valet, Pelham, and armed only with his knowledge of detective novels and a newly acquired set of keener, canine senses, Reggie sets out to find the killer before another meal falls to ruin.
If you haven’t read just how much I loved this book, you can check my review out here.
But you’re not here today to hear from me….let’s hear from Jamie!
Jamieson Ridehour on narrating his own audiobook:
Wow, it sure is nice over here at Bewitched Bookworms. And how kind are the Bookworms to let me hang out for a little while for the Barking Mad blog tour? And on a Friday? (The answer is “very.” They are very kind).
I want to talk about narrating my own audiobook, which I got to do last September. I love audiobooks. When I was in grad school, professors would often give assignments like “please read all of Moby Dick before I get back from the bathroom.” Well maybe not that intense, but I had to read a LOT, and in short periods of time. I did my master’s at a university an hour away from my house in Asheville, NC, and so I used the two hours daily driving time to listen to lots of audiobooks to keep up. Back then I called them “books on tape,” because they were actually on tape. (I think I used my feet to power that truck, as well. Can’t really remember). My greatest literary love, Charles Dickens, began when my wife and I drove from North Carolina to Colorado and got Bleak House on tape from the library. It was read by a man named David Case, and I loved his readings so much that I eventually checked out books he narrated even if I wasn’t interested in the book—I just wanted David Case to keep reading to me.
I love the performative aspect of an audiobook, for the same reason I enjoy seeing a good author reading. Not every author can read her work well, but when one does it is truly a joy. Hearing the character voices as the author imagined them is a real thrill for me. As a former theatre major, I dig the combination of written literature with performance. I love doing readings of my own work for the same reason, and had a blast doing a traditional bookstore/coffeeshop reading tour when Barking Mad came out last summer.
I am, therefore, an audiobook geek. So when my editor at Typecast reacted favorably to my suggestion that maybe I could narrate my own audiobook, I was over the moon. I had already done the tour, and I had also done the voice of Pelham on the book trailer, which I recorded in my make-shift music studio in the basement. The audiobook would be the biggest thing of this kind I had tried, but how hard could it be, right?
It wasn’t hard, per se. But it did take considerably more time and effort than I had expected. For one thing, the law of the recording studio, which I know as a musician, also applies to spoken word recordings. That law is, of course, that things which you can effortlessly and flawlessly perform over and over again all day long become, once the red “record” light comes on, difficult on the level of advanced physics or an Olympic triathlon. It took many more takes than I expected.
I also didn’t take into account the fact that to record a lengthy piece like this, the house needs to be absolutely still and quiet for an unnatural amount of time. The two kids and two dogs who live with me weren’t terribly interested in this requirement. My dog Dakota, in particular, wanted to paw at the door of the studio while the tape was rolling, adding lots of lovely scratching sounds to the mix. So I did the obvious thing: I got up every morning at 5am (my usual writing time) and recorded one chapter a day until it was done. So while you listen to the audiobook, you can picture me bleary-eyed, wearing a fuzzy black bathrobe and swilling huge mugs of coffee as the sun slowly rises outside the studio window. That’ll be pretty accurate.
Do I sound like I’m complaining? Because recording the audiobook was a blast. Doing the voices of the characters was especially fun. I spent most of the time speaking as Reggie, as he narrates the story, but I created a distinct voice for every character. I had already done some work on this during the reading tour, sketching out voices for major characters like Mimsy Borogove and Sir Lionel Biscuit. The audiobook just expanded and solidified that process. My theatre background was helpful, but mainly I just tried to recreate the voices that had been speaking in my head throughout the writing of the novel. I love spending time with those folks.
I think it turned out pretty well. I certainly am up for doing it again for the next novel. But as I said, I’m an audiobook geek. What about you guys? Do you love to be read to, or do you prefer to create your own voices in your head?
Thanks so much for stopping by, Jamie!!! It was definitely our pleasure to host you!
But wait, there’s more….
Yes, dear reader, we’re the lucky blog that gets to offer…..
A SURPRISE GIVE AWAY!!!!!!!!!
Leave a comment about
What you would wear to a dinner with a Werewolf!
And you’ll be entered to win a SIGNED PAPERBACK COPY OF BARKING MAD!!!!
And don’t forget to enter the main give-away for this awesome Barking Mad prize pack:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Check out Jamie’s other tour stops next week!
Full schedule can be found on Jamie’s Kismet Book Touring page.
Monday, February 13th – Sitting Here and Read
Tuesday, February 14th – Books and Things
Wednesday, February 15th – Books and Other Creative Adventures
Thursday, February 16th – Sweeping Me
Friday, February 17th – Reviews by Mary