Choosing the right narrator for a book is crucial! Hilda Lolly, author of 'Gracious Lies', has let us share an entry from her diary as the audiobook version of her title was about to go into production. How do you deal with a great aunt who fancies her chances in front of the microphone...?
December 15th 2012 Granty’s been insisting that she’d be the ideal choice to narrate the audiobook of ‘Gracious Lies’. I said to her, ‘There’s national treasures on standby, Granty – I can’t say who – but they certainly don’t want you muscling in on the proceedings.’ She says she gets compliments about her voice, which is news to me. I’ve always considered it very grating. Naturally, she insisted on auditioning. Not for the powers that be, thank goodness, but for me with a notepad and a po-face for authenticity. She read out a small passage; it was all very average. I said, ‘It was all very average, Granty – you read it out, yes, but where’s the ebb and flow? Where’s the intimacy? Where’s the characters? She said, ‘I can do characters!’ Well, I had to smile. I said, ‘You can do one character, dear, and that’s a slightly more furious Annie Sugden. Now sit down and drink your prune smoothie.’ (I won’t go into that now). She was fine. I revealed all a few hours later and decided it was best if we watched The Mother, starring the lovely Anne Reid, which I just happened to have a copy of lying around. It was marvellous, of course. I didn’t need to go once, which is practically unheard of. Can’t say the same for Granty, but at least it cleared a path. By the end credits, she’d turned on a sixpence with regards to the narration. She said, ‘Yes, I like her. I think she’d do just as good a job as me.’ I practically had to eat a cushion... - Hilda Lolly