When I decided to have my children’s e-book Palmetto Princesses made into an audio-book, I chose ACX (Audiobook Creation Exchange), an Amazon platform that brings together authors and narrators. Their website, acx.com , is loaded with answers to just about any question you can come up with. If something still needs clarifying their people are only an 800 number away. Yes, you get to talk with real human beings. (Thanks Frank and Andy.)
Once I uploaded word count, genre, language, a short synopsis, a note about the characters and a few carefully chosen pages from Palmetto Princesses, I waited for auditions from prospective narrators. A little patience was required at this point. In the end my choice came down to a gut feeling. Kimberly Buhl is a 30-something radio personality with 11 years experience in front of the microphone. She can make herself sound like a twelve year old. That’s exactly what I needed since this story is about that age group. Her acting voice can be upbeat, thoughtful, at times fragile, confident and just about everything else I thought Isabella and the rest of the characters should sound like. This is Kimberly’s first audio book, and mine too. We weren’t quite the blind leading the blind, but we made sure the lights were on and we were wearing our glasses as we occasionally stumbled through this incredible journey. By the way, it’s not easy figuring out how to pronounce five words in Quechua, the aboriginal language still being used in the Andes.
During the following weeks, Kimberly emailed me one recorded chapter at a time. I would listen (at least twice) then send back corrections or suggestions. It was quite a thrill experiencing my characters coming to life through a professional narration. Hearing about the physical world I’d created and the characters moving through it brought a new dimension to Palmetto Princesses. Kim and I occasionally talked on the phone about certain scenes. Her input was invaluable. Her touch of sound effects (vocal and otherwise) were a hoot. The whole process made me feel like the director of a movie.
If you’d like to hear a sample of the completed audio-book for Palmetto Princesses click on this link: