Tuesday, 6 March 2018

The Write Stuff with... Kathryn Hughes

Today it's my stop on The Key blog tour and it's my pleasure to welcome Kathryn Hughes to the blog to talk about her Audible experience.

Before I was a published author I had never listened to an audio book, mistakenly thinking this medium was reserved for people with deteriorating eyesight who were unable to read a book. When I visited Audible’s offices in London to record an interview, I was asked if I had ever listened to one of my own books.  I replied that, no, I hadn’t because what would be the point?  I already knew the story and when I’ve worked on a book for so long, to be honest, I’m glad to see the back of it.  This answer seemed to take them by surprise and I was given a credit so that I could download one of my books and listen to it on the journey back to Manchester on the train. 

Now, I’m used to making that journey, I am a fan of Virgin trains as a whole, but that Pendolino between Euston and Piccadilly is very quick and has a peculiar tilting sensation, the mechanics of which I don’t understand.  The upshot is, I cannot read on the train without succumbing to nausea.  Nothing, not even the newspaper or my Twitter feed.  I can’t look out of the window at the fields rushing past, nor reply to text messages.  As you can imagine, this makes for a boring journey.  None of this is Virgin’s fault; I get sick in cars if I’m sitting in the back and don’t get me started on boats. Interestingly though, I can go on any rollercoaster you care to mention with no ill-effects whatsoever.  Anyway, I digress, back to the Audible book.  What a revelation! Rachel Atkins narrated The Secret and what an amazing job she did.  Even though I knew exactly what the next line was going to be, Rachel narrated it in a way that brought the characters to life.  I had expected the narration to be just a plain reading of my text, but instead Rachel utilised her acting skills too and the end result was a wonderful dramatisation of my book, with the added advantage of making the once-tedious journey whizz by.

For my third book, The Key, we had a change of narrator and I was invited to the studio to listen to Joanne Froggatt recording my words. I was beyond excited when Joanne agreed to do it because I had always been a fan of hers, since her Coronation Street days in fact.  When I wrote my first book, The Letter, even before I had found a publisher I used to fantasise about it being made into a television drama and drew up a cast list.  I had Joanne Froggatt down to play Chrissie, the lead character!  

When I entered the studio, Joanne was sitting behind the glass in a sound-proof booth reading my book.  It was quite a surreal experience.  Joanne’s voice is perfect for this story and her skills as an actress really bring the book to life.  I found myself wanting her to read on, even though I knew what happened next. 

Although I do still read books in the conventional way, I am something of a convert to Audible.  Listening to a book is totally absorbing and if the marriage between author and narrator is right, then the whole experience is especially rewarding.  I’ve also saved a fortune on travel sickness pills. 

1956 
It's Ellen Crosby's first day as a student nurse at Ambergate County Lunatic Asylum. When she meets a young woman committed by her father, and a pioneering physician keen to try out the various 'cures' for mental illness, little does Ellen know that a choice she will make is to change all their lives for ever...

2006
Sarah is drawn to the abandoned Ambergate Asylum. Whilst exploring the old corridors she discovers a suitcase belonging to a female patient who was admitted fifty years earlier. The shocking contents lead Sarah to unravel a forgotten story of tragedy, lost love and an old wrong that only she may have the power to put right . . .

All book titles in bold are Amazon UK Affiliate links which will earn me a few pence if anyone clicks through and makes a purchase - any money earned will go towards buying books or gifts for giveaways.

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