Today we are celebrating the audiobook release of Wonderstruck, the third and final story in Allie Therin’s wonderful Magic In Manhattan series. Please welcome Allie to the blog…
An Author’s Experience with Audio Editing
In the spring of 2017, I was working late hours at a large law firm, parenting a four year-old, and writing my first book in the margins of my remaining time. We had planned a long weekend getaway, and my family went ahead while I wrapped up at work. With a few hours of solo driving ahead of me, I thought I could try a new-to-me approach to editing, and listen to the book I was writing in audio format by using a text-to-speech option on my phone.
I can still vividly remember the surprise of hearing characters who had only existed in my brain and the page in front of my eyes suddenly come to life in someone else’s voice. At that point, I was still struggling to believe I had written an actual book, but hearing it read out loud—even in the robotic voice of my phone—helped me finally realized that yes, I had written a real book, even if I still couldn’t imagine someone else reading it or listening to it with me.
Having a way to listen to that book turned out to be incredibly helpful when it came to teaching myself to self-edit. Hearing the words out loud helped me identify awkward passages and weak points that popped out in the new format. Possibly even more importantly, however, being able to listen to my draft helped fuel enthusiasm to keep going with my writing in those margins of a busy life. Even if I couldn’t get the time to write anything that day, I could listen to my draft while jogging, or on my commute. It was hugely motivating to hear the story because it helped me keep it in my mind and stay excited about it, and keep that momentum moving forward.
I sent my first query letter that summer, then wrote a second book (Spellbound) and sold it as a three-book series the following summer. Fast-forward to November 2019, and my first novel was released in audiobook. Where I had once played my words via text-to-speech on my commute, this time on my commute I popped on my audiobook. Holy. Cow. What a world of difference! What a lucky experience! The joyful surprise of hearing my book performed by a talented narrator and actor was one of those “new writer moments” that I’ll carry with me forever.
It also means a lot that my books are out in the world in audio. Audiobooks are a lifeline for all kinds of readers—readers who are busy, or parents, or have long commutes or routine tasks to slog through. Audio can make books more accessible to readers with chronic health conditions, who might not be able to view a lighted screen without aggravating a migraine, may be too fatigued to hold up a book, or who may have trouble processing written words. And of course, many people simply enjoy listening to a narrated story, maybe while doing chores or hobbies or just enjoying a moment for themselves.
These days, I still use text-to-speech as an occasional tool in my editing tool box, whether to listen to tricky points in the story or to dictate on my phone if my chronic illness has me crashed on the couch. I’m grateful for this technology that helps me write, and grateful for readers of eBooks and audio alike. Wishing everyone the very best in such a difficult year. <3
About the Book:
Don’t miss the stunning conclusion to Allie Therin’s Magic in Manhattan series!
New York, 1925
Arthur Kenzie is on a mission: to destroy the powerful supernatural relic that threatens Manhattan—and all the nonmagical minds in the world. So far his search has been fruitless. All it has done is keep him from the man he loves. But he’ll do anything to keep Rory safe and free, even if that means leaving him behind.
Psychometric Rory Brodigan knows his uncontrolled magic is a liability, but he’s determined to gain power over it. He can take care of himself—and maybe even Arthur, too, if Arthur will let him. An auction at the Paris world’s fair offers the perfect opportunity to destroy the relic, if a group of power-hungry supernaturals don’t destroy Rory and Arthur first.
As the magical world converges on Paris, Arthur and Rory have to decide who they can trust. Guessing wrong could spell destruction for their bond—and for the world as they know it.