Monday, July 21, 2014

Do You Hear What I Hear?

A few months ago I was invited to do an audio version of my book, "A Code of Love." I enthusiastically accepted the offer, never anticipating how different it would be to create a book based on sound instead of written words. 

Before delving into the creative side of audio book production, let me tell you a little bit about the technical side. ACX is the Do It Yourself branch of Amazon Audible. ACX provides support services for authors who want to release their book in audio format, serving as an interface of sorts. Authors can audition narrators and hire producers for assistance, or you can do everything yourself. Once a narrator is selected, the recording process starts. That's a lot of listening and then collaborating with the voice actor to produce a finished product.

Now for a look at some of the creative challenges. 

Written books and audio books share some similarities. Authors spend a lot of time constructing sentences and choosing words to inspire specific moods and emotions. And using the wrong pacing or inconsistent characterization can ruin any book, written or audio.

When readers listen to a story, the words still matter, but the delivery format changes. Instead of being distracted by misspellings or typos as in written books, readers will be pulled out of an audio story if the narrator stumbles over words or doesn't match the tone of the tale.  

"A Code of Love" is a romantic mystery set in Regency England. Both the hero and the heroine are members of the privileged class, meaning they are intelligent, cultured and subject to societal standards. It wasn't enough to hire anyone with a British accent to narrate my book. I wanted—no, needed—someone who sounded like an upper-crust Brit. And because it's a story of scandal, intrigue and danger, I required a narrator capable of infusing this drama into her voice.

I eventually hired Pearl Hewitt, a British voice actor based in Texas. Not only did she "sound" perfect, but her experience in producing audio books helped to shorten my own learning curve. As Pearl recorded each chapter, I would carefully listen and give approval or ask for modifications. Eventually we worked our way through the entire book. It was pretty amazing to "hear" Lady Henrietta Harcourt and Lord Cordelier Rathbourne. I'm happy to report they sounded exactly as I had imagined.

Visit my website for an audio excerpt of "A Code of Love."

Author Bio:  Heart-pounding adventure filled with danger, intrigue and romance from Jacki Delecki, award-winning author of the Regency suspense series "The Code Breakers" and the contemporary mystery series "Grayce Walters." Visit to learn more about Jacki and sign-up for her newsletter. Follow her on Facebook (Jacki Delecki Author) and Twitter (@jackidelecki).

Book Summary:  Threatened by French spies, assassins, and calculating suitors, can Lady Henrietta Harcourt trust the infamous rake, Lord Cordelier Rathbourne, with her carefully guarded family secrets? In his new, undisclosed position as Director of English Intelligence, Cord faces more peril keeping the brilliant Harcourt family of code breakers safe than he did as undercover spy in Napoleonic France. Cord’s passionate attraction for the indomitable Henrietta hasn't diminished in his four years abroad, but neither has Henrietta’s memory of his libertine past. In pursuit of the missing brother, Henrietta and Cord become entangled in a web of international intrigue, danger, and white hot passion. THE CODE BREAKER SERIES Men and Women from the class of privilege risk their lives to defend England against the treacherous designs of Napoleon. They confront disaster, scandal, and passion as they pursue their code of honor and love.


  1. Hi Maureen,

    Great to back at JRS. Thanks for hosting.

  2. Thanks for this post, Jacki! I want to take the audio book plunge myself. All the best with your newest release.

  3. You are a new-to-me author of romantic suspense, Jacki, and I'm excited to "meet" a new author in my fave reading genre. Thanks for this post!