WELL, after much deliberation, I finally gave in to my husband’s demands (sorry – I meant suggestions) and put my book Curmudgeon Avenue Book One: The Terraced House Diaries forwards on ACX to investigate its audiobook potential. I did not think that anyone would want to narrate it, however, one sunny Sunday morning in October last year I received an email that has boosted my writing career no end –
From ACX: Lindsay McKinnon at Theatre of The Mind Productions wants to narrate your book.
Just to give you some context, when I read the email, I was sitting up in bed, and my husband was in the bathroom. Upon his return, he said ‘What are you grinning at?’ and I said:
‘I’ve just had an email, someone wants to narrate my book! She sounds AWESOME! Listen to this!’
Wow, I wish I had one of those ways to add audio to this blog post, and I wish you could get in my head because when I listened to Lindsay’s audition, I swear down, she sounded exactly like I had imagined my book would sound when I was writing it. What a voice. How lucky for this to happen – I went from lacking confidence, doubting that anyone would pick my book up to… THURSDAY EVENING THE AUDIOBOOK LAUNCH OF CURMUDGEON AVENUE BOOK ONE! Where we put on a book event at the local library – Radcliffe Library where part of the book is set!
(I need to catch you up here, from anywhere in the globe, I managed to meet a narrator who lives half an hour up the road from me – again- what a moment of serendipity!)
We met fabulous Librarian Sarah of Bury Library services and she had set a little room up for us inside Radcliffe Library (nice building – recently refurbished)
Soon, we had a room full of expectant faces and one helpful husband holding a camera up ready to listen to Lindsay’s reading of my book and my waffling on about it (you know what it’s like when you get onto a good subject!)
We played the Curmudgeon Avenue trailer, made for me by my friends J&E Productions:
Wonderful librarian Sarah introduced us, (I love librarians, can you tell? Also well jel of their job).
Then Lindsay kicked off the action by reading the dedication in her superb actor voice:
‘This book is dedicated to the Whitefield Massive!’
Lindsay then read the first chapter of Curmudgeon Avenue, August Apologies: ‘On the day this all started, the sky was full of August apologies for a summer undelivered.’ The first chapter is narrated by the house (yes, houses have personalities so why wouldn’t it narrate a book?) The scene is set for a proud, yet grouchy Victorian terrace who is suddenly empty and awaiting new residents… Enter sisters Edna and Edith, soon to be followed by lodger Harold.
Links for the Kindle and paperback copies of Curmudgeon Avenue Book One: The Terraced House Diaries UK and US
Trust me, links to the audiobook will be posted here the second that ACX starts to distribute it – any minute now!
Thank you for joining Lindsay McKinnon and myself for the cyber version of our audiobook launch.
If you are an author and are interested in Lindsay narrating your book through ACX I think, think the easiest way to find her is on Twitter @LindzMcKinnon or by typing ‘Lindsay McKinnon’ into the ‘search > producers for hire’ box on ACX.com or search Lindsay McKinnon on Linkedin. (Obviously, I want Lindsay to narrate the other books in the Curmudgeon Avenue series).
I had an awesome day last Friday (15th November). I was interviewed on the John Gillmore show on BBC Radio Lancashire with voice-over actor Lindsay McKinnon. We were interviewed about my book Curmudgeon Avenue #1: The Terraced House Diaries. Lindsay is currently turning this into an audiobook which will be released early next year – and generally bringing an entirely new dimension to the book, bringing it to life with her fantastic author voice. Lindsay can swap from narrative to dialogue in a variety of voices and accents. She’s extremely talented, I cannot wait to share this audiobook with everyone.
The Curmudgeon Avenue series really lends itself to spoken word.
This is the BBC Radio Lancashire studio in Blackburn town centre – it’s a lovely building :
I have never appeared on the radio before, I was a bag of nerves but I had a word with myself ‘YOU ARE MEANT TO BE DOING THIS!’ Lindsay knew what to say and gave a top performance of reading from the first chapter. John Gillmore (local hero) and lovely co-host Nishma Hindocha had prepared some questions, which guided me through. There are a lot of ‘erms’ on my end, but at least I didn’t collapse into nervous giggling!
Lindsay and me moments before we had to speak into these massive green and yellow microphones.
This whole experience happened because of Lindsay – she contacted John Gillmore and made the interview happen. I’ve been very lucky that she chose my book to narrate.
I had help – I cannot drive on motorways because of MS, Lindsay offered to drive but this would mean coming back on herself and although she didn’t mind, I would’ve felt guilty. So I made Mr Henthorn drive – LoL! He looked like super proud husband when we came out of the studio – and then made fun of me for saying too many ‘erms’ ! Actually, this audiobook adventure is all down to Mark’s encouragement – I had been shy about putting my book forward for audiobooks, I eventually gave in and it’s all happened at the right time.
During the interview, I was asked about the good reviews Curmudgeon Avenue has been getting. I waffled on, of course, and missed my chance. I should have thanked the reviewers … and asked for more! Yes, I am not too shy to ask Curmudgeon Avenue needs reviews.
Local hero – John Gillmore.
Beautiful co-host – Nishma Hindocha hiding behind her computer screen. She wasn’t really hiding, this was so weird for me having a conversation with radio folk – you don’t get to look at them! You just have to chat like everything’s normal! Sigh… that’s showbiz I suppose…
A lovely snap of us all after the interview.
I left paperback copies of the Curmudgeon Avenue series with John and Nishma – I forgot/didn’t remember to ask if they wanted them signing – this is still weird for me I was brought up not to write in books!
THE AUDIOBOOK VERSION OF CURMUDGEON AVENUE WILL BE RELEASED EARLY 2020. If you can’t wait, here is the link for the interview on BBC listen again – it will be available until the start of December. (We are 2 hours 20 minutes in).
On Thursday this week, I had the honour to give an author talk about the Curmudgeon Avenue Series at The Tottington Centre in Bury – my home town. I’m a local author and all my books are set in and around the Bury area.
I invested in a bit of advertising via a Facebook ad and then dragged my husband and parents to bump the numbers up. Not a bad turn out for a Thursday.
The best thing was, the voice-over actor Lindsay McKinnon who has agreed to narrate Curmudgeon Avenue made the effort to make the forty-minute journey to attend the talk and meet up for the first time!
This is one of the best things that has happened to me since I’ve been writing. I submitted Curmudgeon Avenue to ACX the audiobook people, and from all the people in the world – a super talented actor with showbiz credentials, Lindsay McKinnon is now bringing Curmudgeon Avenue to life, and she only lives up the road from me! Lindsay’s voice-over narration is brought to us with the name Theatre of The Mind Productions, and I think this really captures what Lindsay is producing. She can do any accent from all over the world and has a real skill for switching from one voice to another. I’m very lucky to meet Lindsay – and so is my book because I think the Curmudgeon Avenue series really lends itself to spoken word.
Lindsay gave me her business card so it must be real!
For the future, there are two more Curmudgeon Avenue books planned and I have loads of ideas for some standalone novels too.
The Tottington Centre is a lovely place and there is loads going on for the community. (Plus a nice tea room cafe) It used to be a library – before that, it was the Town Hall of Tottington and a residential house – imagine a family living there! Fancy! They were running a promotion ‘free book with every brew’ I picked up this one because ‘I know who Ben Elton is’ (!)
Am I having an identity crisis? I don’t think so, I’m Samantha Henthorn Author. My Curmudgeon Avenue series is a hilarious read – and soon to be listen and I’ll be writing forever!