There was that time when we got back from a two-hour drive from the airport. We had just flown into Brisbane from LA and were exhausted. Yet, when we arrived home, we sat in the car for a further ten minutes in the garage. Had we fallen asleep? Locked ourselves in? Or forgotten the house keys?
None of the above. In fact, we had been listening to an audiobook – actress Sheila Hancock’s tribute to her dead husband John Thaw, if I remember rightly – and really, really wanted to hear the end. So, jet-lagged, dehydrated and dying to sleep in our own bed, we continued listening to her throaty, cigarette-coated voice talking about the man who played the incomparable Inspector Morse (and Jack Regan from The Sweeney).
Audiobooks are built into our travel trips, medium and long distance. We listened to Michael Caine’s latest memoir (one of about twenty but always entertaining) on the drive from Orlando, Florida to Charleston, North Carolina. Anne (‘You are the weakest ink!’) Robinson entertained us with her story of battling against alcoholism and predatory bosses. We’ve enjoyed short stories from Stephen King, crime thrillers from John Sandford and Mark Billingham, and even old episodes of ‘Yes, Minister’.
Soooo, it was a special thrill to learn that WaveSound, a global company that specializes in audiobooks, had approached my publishers offering a deal to record both The Scoop and its sequel.
‘Sounds good to me,’ I quipped.
These WaveSound folks act fast. Within a couple of weeks they sent me the draft jacket for the CD (pictured). Then a few of days ago they wanted some info on the book’s main character Jonno Bligh to help them with the casting/auditions for the narrator. Here’s an extract of what I sent them:
I envision Jonno as a younger, shaggier version of Simon Baker: he’s blondish, but less classically handsome, and a little rougher around the edges. He’s a big bloke – six-three, in his late thirties (he turns 40 in Book 2) with blue eyes and a touch reserved in social situations; he’s not big on small talk … which is the main reason he starts doing coke in LA – ie to make himself less socially inept.
His voice: Jonno has an authentic Aussie accent but well to the soft south of ‘ocker’. He’s spent a fair bit of time working in London so that would soften it further. He’s a strong, determined man but not brash or verbose (eg Richard Roxburgh in ‘Rake’!); he’s comfortable in his own company.
I also provided character sketches of the other two lead characters, Annie Greenwood and the villain BangBang Budiman (who I described as resembling General Manuel ‘Pineapple Face’ Noriega, the former Panamanian dictator).
The result is, when those wonderful WaveSound people have finished putting a few suitable actors through their paces in the next few weeks, I’ll get to hear the voice that will bring The Scoop to life. Can hardly wait.The Scoop_Terence J. Quinn
And, once the audiobook is released in January 2019, I hope a lot of people will be spending extra time in their garages at the end of long trips!