The Narcissist and the Vampire Hunter – progress so far…

Last weekend, I finished the final chapter of Matt Davis’ book: The Vampire Hunter’s Field Guide – A Survivor’s Guide to Narcissistic Abuse – after 150 hours of recording, editing and processing.

 

If you’re interested in how audiobooks are made (that is, those not done posh studios, but in home studios like mine), the narrator is very often the producer and has to acquire and develop a new set of skills, in addition to those required for actually reading the book. Some narrators are able to sub-contract the editing/processing side of things, but I am nowhere near that stage – yet. The mechanics are as follows:

  • Reading the book – to gain an overall understanding of its story/themes/plot/characters/structure
  • Marking-up the script – this assists the recording process as a means of inserting pauses, taking breaths, changes of mood or the introduction of various characters
  • Identifying and creating the narrator’s ‘voice’ and the voices/accents of other characters, if any
  • Getting properly hydrated – drinking plenty of room temperature water, at least two hours prior to recording, so that the mouth, larynx, vocal cords etc. are properly lubricated. It also reduces mouth noise and clicks – which only add to the processing time when they have to be removed. No caffeine, no sugary drinks and definitely no booze
  • Warming-up prior to recording – this is vital. It allows the narrator to relax and to ensure consistency over several sessions, if the recording is done over a period of days
  • Recording the script – often done in manageable chunks, as reading for hours on end can kill your vocal cords
  • Processing/editing – apart from removing fluffs and distracting breaths, this can involve the removal of weird mouth noises (no one likes a stranger making slurping noises in your ear while you’re trying to concentrate on something else – well, some people might). It’s basically knocking the recording into shape, prior to treatment with the audio software
  • Finally, the application of equalisation/compression/normalisation that will ensure the product meets ACX/Audible’s standards on uniformity of recording and a comfortable listen for the customer

I was fortunate to receive regular feedback from the author, which was handy with a long book such as this (approx 12.5 hours), as it allowed for corrections to be made ‘on the fly’, rather than a whole load when the book was finished. To cut a long story short (no pun intended) Matt approved the final product on Tuesday and we are now waiting for Audible/ACX to review the audio files prior to their approval – then it should be headed to retail in 2-3 weeks.

We intend to have a launch party/occasion/event, as Matt never had a formal launch of the paperback when it was published in March 2019. We’re hoping to get the actor Gemma Oaten involved, as she wrote the forword and was personally affected for many years by the issues the book investigates and discusses. It falls into the category of ‘self-help’ and would also be suitable for recommendation by counselling practitioners to their clients.

If any readers would like a copy for review, please message me or email me at wallender1957@outlook.com and I will arrange for you to receive a free copy of the audiobook.

I’ll be back when the Field guide is available on Audible/iTunes, along with news of my next two productions: the first of a short series of novellas from Jemahl Evans, about the early life of Thomas Becket:

 

 

And a series of short stories from Indonesian author Dimas Rio – here is a review from bestsellersworld.com:

Who’s There?: A Collection of Stories by Dimas Rio

Until then, happy listening.

A Survivor’s Guide to Narcissistic Abuse

I’ve spent quite a bit of time since the beginning of the year in preparing, recording and processing my latest audiobook – The Vampire Hunter’s Field Manual – A Survivor’s Guide to Narcissistic Abuse. It’s written by Matt Davis, with a Foreword by actor Gemma Oaten, who are both survivors of narcissistic abuse.

Matt’s approach is not only based on his own experience but is rooted in psychology theory and other academic disciplines. He’s combined a matter-of-fact approach with an element of humour that gives permission and hope for survivor’s to laugh again. Even during recording, I found bits of it very funny (had to edit my laughs out though).

I’ve been sending over chapters to him as and when they’re finished and I’m glad to say he’s pleased with the results so far, and he loves the ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ feel of the audiobook. Here’s a short sample:

To give a brief overview, the book covers:

  • The Mind of the Vampire
  • The Vampire’s Attack Cycle, Weapons and Tactics
  • Drama and the Drama Triangle
  • How Vampires train their Targets
  • The biological, psychological and emotional effects of narcissistic abuse
  • How Targets may become Survivors and the Key Skills they can acquire

I’m hoping to get it completed by the end of February and it should be on sale on Audible and iTunes by the middle of March. If you would like to receive a free copy for review, please email me at wallender1957@outlook.com and I will send you details on how to download it.

Here is the link to Amazon if you wanted to get a paperback/Kindle copy. I hope you enjoy it and that you find it helpful – it’s certainly taught me a lot.

 

 

 

A different kind of Vampire…still not very nice though

 

Audiobook narration part 3

Some people have been getting into a flap about the latest interpretation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, broadcast on the BBC over the Christmas break. Whilst not actually shedding blood over the subject, this mini-series (if three 90 minute episodes meet the definition) has driven a stake between those who love it and those who…don’t. Claes Bang’s performance as the eponymous Count has been met with pretty much universal acclaim, but issues over the writing and, in my view, mangling of the story have seen some critics going for the jugular over this seasonal gore-fest. Van Helsing’s a nun? Harker is a zombie? Such liberties with the original source provide a rich vein of controversy that some cannot resist getting their teeth into, but as has been said many times before, fangs ain’t what they used to be…

Sorry. I can’t keep it up. Having got your attention (I hope), what I really want to say is that I have just started work on my latest audiobook – The Vampire Hunter’s Field Manual: A Survivor’s Guide to Narcissistic Abuse, by Matt Davis.

Matt gave the green light to the first 15 minutes last week and I have already submitted the introduction and the first chapter for his approval. It’s a tough subject but his style is very accessible and the book is proving to be a pleasurable task, as far as narration goes. It’s my longest project so far, coming in at 106k words and will finally be a 11+ hour listen.

He writes from personal experience and, combined with an academic background in psychology, he breaks down and explains a surprisingly common phenomenon. He examines those who, in their personal and intimate relationships, prey on others as a source of narcissistic supply due to having a disordered personality (rather than a personality disorder). Such individuals he describes, justifiably, as Vampires.

The book is essentially written for those who have survived or are undergoing an abusive relationship and will fall into the self-help category, but I would recommend it to anyone. The Forward is written by actor Gemma Oaten who, as UK readers might know, starred in ITV’s never-ending soap opera Emmerdale.

I hope to finish this project by the end of February so, all being well, the audiobook should be on sale in March, at which time I will be back, encouraging all and sundry to CROSS Audible’s palm with SILVER and add to the growing COUNT of audiobook fans…

No, that really is it.

The Last Roundhead – Great feedback!

There has been some feedback on Twitter from a distinguished source. Doctor Robert Lyman has listened to the audiobook and has said:

Doctor Lyman is a military historian and has acted as consultant on the BBC show ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ Here’s a link to his website:

Home

If you would like a copy of the audiobook for review, please email me at wallender1957@outlook.com

Or, if you are new to Audible, please use this link:

https://www.audible.com/pd/B0821X8QD9/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWU-BK-ACX0-174243&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_174243_pd_us

 

 

 

The Rat in the Cellar – part 2

Thursday night saw the revival of The Rat in the Cellar, a radio play performed in front of a sold-out house at St Mary in the Castle, Hastings UK.

The star of the show was Miriam Margolyes, well-known film and TV actor, famous for portraying Professor Sprout in the Harry Potter series of films. Here is the cast in rehearsal on the day.

MM and cast

Sitting next to her is yours truly, as her husband in the play, with Garry Fox and Peter Mould as Jimmy and Mike.

The evening was packed, with a good audience of just under 450. It was a charity event for the Hastings Coffin Club and raised a goodly sum for the charity. It was quite an experience for me, Garry and Peter, working with such a high-profile star and nearly a national treasure. Great fun.

It’s…Audible

I’m pleased to say that my latest audiobook is now on sale:

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Blandford Candy is sent to London, after an illicit affair, and joins the Roundhead army to fight against the King, taking part in the Battle of Edgehill.

A reluctant hero if ever there was one, he becomes a spy for the cause – and, through luck or judgement, uncovers more than one Royalist plot. His love of wine and the fairer sex prove both a curse and a blessing for the agent. Blandford soon earns the enmity of the King’s spy mistress Jane Whorwood, and patronage of the great parliamentarian leader John Hampden.

As well as navigating the politics and perils of the Civil War Blandford must also deal with members of his family, who turn out to be to be far more duplicitous and ruthless than any rival agent.

To survive, Blandford must choose a side.

The Last Roundhead is the first book in the acclaimed series of novels, charting the adventures of Sir Blandford Candy during the English Civil War.

Recommended listening for fans of Bernard Cornwell, Michael Jecks, and George MacDonald Fraser’s Flashman books.

The author, Jemahl Evans, has written about his experience using Audible for the first time on his blog – here is a link:

https://jemahlevans.wixsite.com/jemahlevans/single-post/2019/11/29/ACX-Audible-and-The-Last-Roundhead

If you would like to sign up with Audible, please use these links:

US readers : https://www.audible.com/pd/B0821X8QD9/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWU-BK-ACX0-174243&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_174243_pd_us

UK readers: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/B0821YM642/?source_code=AUKFrDlWS02231890H7-BK-ACX0-174243&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_174243_pd_uk

Happy listening!

 

The Rat in the Cellar

On the 19th December, I will be appearing alongside Miriam Margolyes in a live reading of a radio play, The Rat in the Cellar. The event is in aid of a charity called the Coffin Club (https://coffinclub.co.uk/). Miriam is a veteran British/Australian actor, well-known for playing Professor Sprout in the Harry Potter films. She is currently appearing in Sydney and The Old Girl at the Park Theatre in Finsbury Park, London.

Here is link to the event’s website:

http://stmaryinthecastle.co.uk/events/event/?permalink=rat-in-the-cellar

And here is Miriam with the two founders of the Coffin Club in Hastings, Kate Tym and Kate Dyer:

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I play her character’s husband, who she has imprisoned in the cellar of her house and feeds him by way of the coal shute. The story describes their relationship and how they got to be in this situation. There is a very interesting twist at the end, which is both funny and touching. I’m looking forward to it and will post further details and pics of the event in due course.