Friday, 28 June 2013

Goodness Gracious....

We are thrilled to be publishing Hilda Lolly's collection of short stories, Gracious Lies, in both eBook and audio formats. We sat down with her for a quick chat...

Q: Tell us a little bit about how Gracious Lies came about.

I wrote a short story for a competition and then received a charming e-mail from Creative Content asking if I had any others up my sleeve. Of course, the only things I had up my sleeve were a few crusty tissues, but I set to with my typewriter and Gracious Lies was born.

Q: Did you have much input as to who would narrate it?

Yes, I was kept firmly abreast. I didn’t really have a particular narrator in mind myself. My great aunt volunteered; she wrongly claims to be something of a raconteur, but I told her she was far too wheezy and, besides, the loo-breaks would have made production a nightmare. I was absolutely delighted with the choice of Anne Reid and Joanna David, though, and ecstatic to the point of tears when they agreed to read them.

Q: What is it like hearing your book in audio form?

I won’t beat around bushes – it’s thrilling. To hear someone (or in my lucky case two incredibly talented ladies) reading your work is really quite magical. I say ‘reading’, but it’s not just reading – it’s performing. Both Anne and Joanna really use their acting talents to bring each character to life.

Q: What’s the best thing about hearing it in audio?

For me, it’s the dialogue. When you hear a conversation that you’ve written (and know off by heart) performed so brilliantly, it can be rather emotional. The dialogue between Donald and the New Mrs Barefoot is extraordinary. Anne Reid goes from one to the other with such perfect timing that it’s a delight to listen to. Likewise Gerald and Blodywn in Sixty-Six Steps to Mother; two characters that I’ve lived with for so long (and who only had my voice to share between them) are suddenly made real. Joanna David’s Blodywn is remarkable. You really feel every word and I could listen to her say ‘teak’ over and over.

Q: What’s the worst thing?

Possibly walking around with a permanent grin on my face. I think I’m beginning to irritate people, my great aunt in particular. She hasn’t yet listened to Gracious Lies because I refuse to lend her my advance copy. I’ve insisted that she purchases her own, which I don’t think is being miserly. I mean we’ve all got nests to keep feathered.

Q: Is there anything you would change in the audio version of your book?

No, thank you.

Q: What do you think of books in audio form generally?

I find them very agreeable. I like reading books (I’m actually Kindled for when the mood takes me) but I do enjoy an audiobook. I’m a very busy lady and my eyeballs don’t always have time to be reading. You see, I was a ‘multi-tasker’ long before the phrase was invented, so being able to enjoy a good book while I’m giving myself a home pedicure, for example, is something I’m very grateful for. - Hilda Lolly

Gracious Lies is available in eBook and audio formats.