Let us, dear friends, reflect for a moment on the life of my latest novel, the fabulous Red Plus Zone:
First there was an idea for a short story which soon became an idea for a novel.
And when that novel was finished and polished (thanks April) and clothed in its splendid garb (thanks Luke), Matt and the incredible people at Autharium helped it become an e-book.
But the journey didn't stop there!
There was the excellent review by Stranger Views and others, followed by the excitement and the rush of sales of the print-on-demand paperback...and soon there'll be the print run and a modest stack of books at Gardners, waiting to whisked off to bookshops around the UK at the touch of an order button.
And that, you might think, would be that...and satisfying enough that would be.
It's an order for a Rode NT1-A Microphone!
So why on earth would a committed patron of the written word like myself be investing his hard-earned cash in such a contraption (not to mention a Rode PSA1 microphone boom, a ProSonus audiobox, a pair of Sennheiser HD202 headphones and a copy of Audacity software for his MacBook (which is free, by the way!)) What madness is compelling me to set up a small recording studio in the vast, subterranean bowels of Chez Ritchie?
Well, you see folks, there's one other avenue in the life-cycle of Red Plus Zone available for me to explore...the world of the audiobook.
Yes, my friends, it's true. As well as working on the first of two sequels to Red Plus Zone (which I'm calling Black Plus Zone), I'm also going to spend some of my spare time this year embarking on the slow journey towards mastery of the spoken word, so that one day soon I'll be able to narrate Red Plus Zone (and its progeny) and share that narration with the rest of humankind through the wonders of Amazon's ACX.
And I'm not going to stop there, oh no.
There's also 'The Book That THEY...' which I believe is crying out to be brought to aural life by my dulcet Lancastrian tones.
And then there's 'Adventures in the Great Land of Rhyme'...oooh, the list goes on.
'But why not get a 'proper' narrator to do it?' I hear the doubters cry. 'They're the professionals! You'll just f**k it up!'
'Please,' I retort, 'watch your language. This is a family blog!' Then, after a moment's thought, I explain: 'It's simple, really. It'll be fun!'
And if I'm no good at it, (and I'm honest enough with myself, I think, to admit it if that's true) then at least I'll have given it a go...and I'll still have the option to convince a professional narrator to give voice to my words.
So, I ask, what is there to lose?