BIG NEWS! BIG NEWS! BIG NEWS!
THE LONG-AWAITED ROSEHEAD AUDIOBOOK IS HERE!
When I published Rosehead, I didn't even know about the existence of ACX and the possibility of making an audiobook, and it was one of you who told me about it. See what you did? It is done. Thank you.
And! A big huge gigantic THANK YOU to Lugene Ganley! Lugene's marvelous voice won me over the moment I heard the audition. I thought, "Gee, this sounds so great. Did I write this? It sounds like someone else wrote it, like someone who actually knows how to write." It was an eye-opening experience. I highly recommend you post your books to ACX for an audition. Even if it nothing gets produced, if someone auditions for your book and you hear your own words spoken by an actor, you'll discover a new side to your writing that will give you a kick in the ass and a creative boost. The actor has no fear of your story like you do. The actor will get the best out of it, and it will fucking floor you.
WHERE TO GET IT:
I have no clue why it's priced the way it's priced. Maybe it's because I did a royalty share with the narrators? I dunno. In a few days I'll be getting 25 free promo codes for it, so tell me your ideas on how to give them out. Should I do some sort of a contest or something? I'm all ears.
And now, to the story behind the production, which could be written into a book of its own.
Originally the recording was supposed to start in March and end in April, so by the time I got back from the Amtrak Residency the audiobook would be complete. Lugene has recorded a few chapters, and then she emailed me to tell me that her husband Chris got very sick: "He's had a heart attack and is scheduled for bypass/valve replacement surgery in a few days."
I told Lugene not to worry, that I'll wait and she can ignore the ACX deadline.
A few weeks later I got another email: "My husband had his surgery and is doing well. Life is returning to normal and I’m finally getting back into the swing of things. Rosehead is at the top of my list."
I thought, "Fantastic! The book will be done soon! Yes!"
Then I got this: "My husband is back in the hospital in intensive care with sepsis. He’s on a respirator and could be there a week or two more. I’ll let you know when things change."
Then a few weeks later: "My husband is still in intensive care, but he is supposed to be transferred to a long term care hospital this week. He’s still on a ventilator, very weak and mostly unresponsive but he is hanging on so I’m hanging on too. There’s truth to that old saying “You never know what you’ve got 'til it’s gone”. I often catch myself thinking of things I want to talk to him about and then realize I may never get the chance."
Lugene told me that she won't be offended if I went and looked for someone else to do the book, but I said, "No, I'll wait." So I waited. And waited. And waited.
Then I got the longest email of them all: "The hospital Chris was transferred to a couple weeks ago neglected him and his condition worsened quickly. I had to be there every day to make sure he received the most basic of care. The place is nothing more than a warehouse, just keeping people breathing so they can collect the Medicare payments, not trying to heal or rehabilitate at all. I set the wheels in motion to have him transferred to a different hospital but in the meantime his condition worsened and the bad doctor wanted to put him in intensive care in the bad hospital. Hell no! I called his cardiac surgeon, pitched a fit, and he moved him back to intensive care in the original hospital (the good hospital) within a few hours. By that time, however, Chris was completely unresponsive and after a day or two the decision was made to remove life support once his brothers and sisters had had a chance to come in and see him one last time. That was Thursday afternoon. I spend (sic) Thursday evening thinking about what to put in his obituary and looking for a suitable photograph. Friday morning his sister and I went to meet with the hospice/palliative care team at the hospital to begin the process of removing life support and waiting for him to pass. When we got to the hospital Friday morning, the nurse shook her head and told us “No change”. We went in and talked to him, and immediately his eyes popped open, he focused on us and followed our movements, he began moving his arms and legs, trying to mouth words to us, responding to questions by nodding or shaking his head. His doctor came in after rounds and I said, “He’s back! This changes everything!” and he said, “Alright!” so treatment is once again proceeding full speed ahead. To say that everyone was shocked and amazed is an understatement."
Then came a day when Lugene said that her husband was back home and life was returning back to normal and that she was back to recording Rosehead.
So you see, this audiobook is very special. It's Lugene's fourth audiobook; the other three audiobooks she narrated you can find here. I asked Lugene for her website to link here. She said she doesn't have one, but she gave me the link to her Facebook. Give her work a listen. I bet you will fall in love with her voice. I sure did.
That concludes the story of Rosehead audiobook production, but I have one more story to tell you.
Erich, the crazy talented actor who is recording the audio for The Badlings, has gone quiet a few weeks ago. When I emailed him to ask what was wrong, he apologized for his silence and said that his father has died, and that "right before he passed, one of the last things that my father and I did together was listen to Chapter 8. It’s a memory that I will always cherish. I hadn’t told you yet, but whenever I’d finish a chapter I’d also have my parents listen to it to give me any additional performance notes. They called it their "bedtime stories"...he was such a huge fan of your book that he bought it online and started reading ahead. I don’t believe he ever finished it unfortunately, but I know that he is very much with me and present in spirit as I continue working on it."
I cried when I read this, then I felt the breath of death on the back of my neck, and I thought, "Shit. I better write more books quickly, before I make it into the box."
A curious detail. So far not a single actor auditioned for Irkadura, though it was hanging on ACX for almost a year now. Perhaps it's good nobody did. Who knows what the production of that book will bring. Tell me you're not having goosebumps all along your spine, because I have. Brrrr...