BLADES OF THE OLD EMPIRE audiobook

I received my author copies about twelve days ago — a beautiful production by Dreamscapes, narrated by Genevieve Swallow. And yes, I’ve raved and tweeted about it already, but my impression goes so much deeper than this. I felt that a full blog post is warranted, to at least attempt to describe it all.

The book I received is on a set of 12 CDs, and the only place I can really listen to them without being disturbed is my car. I don’t listen to audiobooks often, so I was very nervous when I put in the first disk.

It felt odd to hear my own name pronounced by the narrator. But then, the story started, and I became completely immersed. I still am. I am on disk 11, and I will probably listen to it all again when it is done. Possibly more than once.

When I wrote this book, I took a long time with it. I polished each scene to the point of intense enjoyment at seeing the images inside me. Writing this book was an era of my life that ended — quite happily — five years ago, with its publication. In these five years it has remained a fond memory, as I moved on to new projects.

I rarely re-read my published books, because I simply cannot switch off my editor mode, and keep thinking of what else could have been changed. As I improve as an author, I tend to find more things to pick on, so it is really a bittersweet experience. Not so with the audiobook. Not at all.

It is known that we tend to register fewer spoken words than written ones. So, when someone reads my book to me out loud, I tend not to notice any of the small edits I would have made. Instead, I feel much more immersed in the story itself. It seems to come to life. And yes, this is something I cannot reproduce on my own, not without the beautiful narrator’s voice — and her gorgeous British accent I am definitely incapable of.

Driving the car has become a guilty pleasure for me. I can’t wait to get back to my drive every day. My commute, often annoying during the rush hour traffic, has become way too short. Sometimes I sit in the parking lot to finish the chapter before I exit the car, and I continue to relive the scene when I leave. Considering that this is my own writing I am raving about, isn’t it just a little bit weird?

I have no idea what it feels like for an author to see their work on screen. I assume, it is probably a mixed experience, since a movie is a whole different creation that bears an imprint of the screen writer, the director, and the entire team. Not so with the audiobook. It is your own words, coming to life in exactly the way you envisioned it. It’s as if your characters are actually real. You can hear them talking, right next to you. It feels so special.

Somewhere between now and May, Dreamscape will also produce an audiobook for my upcoming novel, SHADOWBLADE. I now know what kind of a pleasure I am in for, when I receive it. I absolutely can’t wait!

About Anna Kashina

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