Creating an audio book – by recording artist Joe Hempel

1167111_10202136569393054_1147732724_oThis is a guest post by the voice recording artist Joe Hempel – seen here with a dentist’s best client. Joe has done a great job of voicing Pandora’s Brain, which will shortly be available as an audio book, and he is currently hard at work on the audio version of  Surviving AI.

Joe is a diligent and talented recording artist, and it’s been a pleasure working with him. So I invited him to explain a bit about the process of recording an audio book.

When the audition for Pandora’s Brain popped up on ACX (Amazon’s audio creation exchange), I had to jump in.  Books that pique my interest don’t come along very often: the world seems to be filled with sparkly vampires, glorified domestic abuse, and book 75 of series written by ghost authors.  It’s rare that something as smart as Pandora’s Brain comes along, exploring a world that seems almost impossible but is actually not far off.

The challenge with any audio book is to make the characters come alive for the listener.  Hopefully after you listen to the book, you will think I did my job well.  

The creation of an audio book takes a surprising amount of time.  It involves prepping the book, recording, editing, proofing checking, then sending to the author. If the author has any comments then these need to be incorporated and returned. All in all it takes around 5-6 hours for each hour you listen to. 

Pandora’s Brain avoids getting bogged down with technical details. (You can get the whole AI story when Surviving AI, the non-fiction companion, comes out next month.)  In the novel, Calum gives you just what you need to understand the context and then moves on to the action and the character development.  The dialogue is crisp, and the action sequences are fast, action packed and hard-hitting!  There are plenty of twists and turns along the way, and hopefully the audio version conveys the tension and the roller coaster of emotions that the characters go through.

Thought-provoking and exciting, Pandora’s Brain will stay etched in your brain and may prompt you – like me – to go looking for more information on the subject.  It will make you think about your life, your mortality, and what truly makes you…..you!

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