During the past week we have been recording The Gilded Cage, the first title in Vic James’ Dark Gifts trilogy. In addition to our reader, Avita Jay, and producer, Leo Whetter, Vic herself was able to join us for two of the studio days, drawing upon her experiences to pen a thoughtful blog post about the process. 

Alongside Vic’s insight into the pronunciations, directions, and the spine-tingling feeling of hearing words brought to life which all comprise a good audiobook recording, we’ve compiled some other pieces from our archives of authors blogging about hearing their words performed back to them.

“For my three protagonists, would she capture Silyen’s sinister airiness, Abi’s intelligence and determination, and Luke’s maturation across the book’s arc, from suburban teenager to a principled young man man forced to grow up too soon?

She did. Triumphantly so.”

Vic James, author of The Gilded Cage, December 2016.

“As a result of my project, I have discovered that listening rather than reading allows you to experience a book in an entirely different way. How something is said is so important. A line you might interpret as angry or whiny when you read can come across as mellow, tongue in cheek, or dry when said aloud. A crisis can be magnified or played down. You might hear things you never realized were there. It’s amazing.”

Paula Berinstein, author of Amanda Lester And The Pink Sugar ConspiracyOctober 2016.

“It is a unique experience hearing your words read aloud, especially by as accomplished a reader as Adjoa Andoh. As a writer you have a voice in your head that speaks the lines in one particular way; an actor comes to the same lines with their own pace and delivery. The emphasis isn’t quite what you’d imagined. The rhythm subtly changes. It unsettles you at first. You have to relax and let it happen. But within just a few lines you’re sold.” 

John Ironmonger, author of The Coincidence Authority, August 2013. 

“‘What does Jubilee sound like? Whose voice is it narrated in?’ The real answer to that was, of course: mine. It had lived in my head for a very, very long time and I’d always assumed that it sounded exactly like me – my accent, my inflections, my gender. But that’s no good at all as an answer and what I heard, as I settled onto a sofa in the production booth, was Jubilee transformed, as actor Sartaj Garewal spoke it into a new kind of life.”

Shelley Harris, author of Jubilee, March 2013.