Wednesday, July 30, 2014

"The Thing About December"

Still very busy in the studio with back-to-back titles. But wanted to give you a sample of Donal Ryan's latest book "The Thing About December" which will launch in the US at the end of this month. 
You might remember that Donal was long-listed for the Booker Prize for his debut novel "The Spinning Heart" which I had the privilege to narrate last year. 

Have a listen and I hope you enjoy it! 

"He heard Daddy one time saying he was a grand quiet boy to Mother when he thought Johnsey couldn't hear them talking. Mother must have been giving out about him being a gom and Daddy was defending him. He heard the fondness in Daddy's voice. But you'd have fondness for an auld eejit of a crossbred pup that should have been drowned at birth.'

While the Celtic Tiger rages, and greed becomes the norm, Johnsey Cunliffe desperately tries to hold on to the familiar, even as he loses those who all his life have protected him from a harsh world. Village bullies and scheming land-grabbers stand in his way, no matter where he turns.

Set over the course of one year of Johnsey's life, The Thing About December breathes with his grief, bewilderment, humour and agonizing self-doubt. This is a heart-twisting tale of a lonely man struggling to make sense of a world moving faster than he is.

Donal Ryan's award-winning debut, The Spinning Heart, garnered unprecedented acclaim, and The Thing About December confirms his status as one of the best writers of his generation."

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Audiobook Update

It's been a very busy couple of weeks in the studio and no sign of things easing off for at least another month, so forgive me for not blogging as often as I used to. 

The good news is that I have just finished Book 1 of Christopher Bunn's awesome fantasy Tormay Trilogy called 'The Hawk & His Boy', which has been wonderful to narrate. The storyline is fantastic. 

Also just completed is another instalment in The Sorcerer's Ring titles from Morgan Rice. This latest book is called 'A Cry Of Honor' and is Book 4 in the series. 

Next up is Book 2 of 'The Ian Fleming Files' from Damian Stevenson. The latest story from the life of the James Bond author is called 'Operation Parsifal' and if the reviews of 'Operation Armada' are anything to go by, you will really enjoy this next book in the series. 

Crime writer Scott Hunter is up immediately after that with his incredibly well-written novel 'Black December' from the DCI Morgan series.

Then, we have Irish Book Award winner Donal Ryan's follow-up novel 'The Thing About December' which I know you have all been waiting for. The publisher has delayed its launch in the US until 11th August so unfortunately you will have to wait until then to get your hands on it. 

The end of the long production run will be with two historical romance novels "Captain Of My Heart" and "Wicked At Heart" from New York Times and US Today bestselling author Danelle Harmon. 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Coming Soon...

Just a quick post to update authors and listeners about what is due on my schedule over the coming months. 
Between now and the beginning of August, I am unavailable to sign for any new projects as I have a backlog to get through and so my all round super assistant, Juniper Jones is playing gatekeeper for any forthcoming enquiries. (They tell me that her bark is worse than her bite, but I'm not so sure!)

As you can see, there are twelve audiobooks in the queue, so it is going to be a busy couple of months. 

You might also be interested to see that I have added historical romance to my list of genres. 
The very brave Danelle Harmon is allowing me to narrate two of her best-selling works. 
Do I have a voice for romance? Will her fans like it? 
Have a listen and let me know what you think.

In the meantime, it's back to the booth again. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Ian Fleming Files - Update

Well, what a month it has been. 
I'm only now getting a chance to blog about what's been happening over the past few weeks. 
The good news is that the first book in Damian Stevenson's masterful Ian Fleming Files series: 'Operation Armada' has been released to the author and should be available for sale in June. 

You can listen to a sample here: 

Last month, my main editing suite had a complete overhaul so I had some time off to catch up on some of my own private audiobook listening which is always nice. 
I can highly recommend Simon Vance reading "Eventide" by Tracy Hickman. He really is a phenomenal narrator.

Next week, I will be getting out of this heat and heading to Amsterdam where hopefully it will rain. That would be simply marvelous! 

Thank you to everyone for your fantastic reviews and emails. They are very encouraging and I am looking forward to hearing what you think of 'Operation Armada". 

Onwards! - W

Monday, April 7, 2014

You Can Find Me In Da Club (Update)

A few months ago, I posted that phenomenal dance music producer K1T has asked me to provide some voice work for his latest project. 

The result, "The Kraken" is now playing on decks around the world. 
And that, is simply awesome! 


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

"Black December" Audiobook

Delighted to announce that I will be narrating the first in a series of UK crime novels by Scott Hunter, entitled "Black December". 
It's the story of DCI Brendan Moran, a world-weary veteran of 1970s Ireland, who is recuperating from a near fatal car crash when a murder is reported at a monastery called Charnford Abbey.

The abbot and his monks are strangely uncooperative, but when a visitor from the Vatican arrives and an ancient relic goes missing the truth behind Charnford’s pact of silence threatens to expose not only the abbey’s haunted secrets but also the spirits of Moran’s own troubled past…

I won't give too much of the plot away at this stage. It's a brilliant story, and I'm looking forward to releasing it this summer. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Ian Fleming Files

Where do I begin to try and put into words how fantastic an opportunity has recently been placed into my hands, having been trusted with bringing Damian Stevenson's new series "The Ian Fleming Files" to life. 

As you know, Fleming was the creator of the world famous secret agent James Bond. 
But what you may not have known is that Fleming himself was, just like author John Le Carré, a member of Britain's intelligence service. 

Stevenson, who's screenplay for the movie "Fleming" was earlier taken on for production by Leonardo DiCaprio's "Appian Way" company has created a series of novels in the same vein as the 007 books, with Fleming as the main protagonist. 

The first book, entitled "Operation Armada" will be released as an audiobook this summer. 

You can listen to a sample of it here: 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Are We Cheating Ourselves?...

When I was young, I read a lot. Anything. My father had a huge library in our house and as a kid, I read everything in it. That’s where it all started. 

As a teenager, I spent days in bookshops, mostly in the second-hand section, looking for cheap copies of Stephen King, Jonathan Kellerman, John Grisham and others. 

I can remember imagining what it would be like to be a writer. To sit there night in night out, trying to work out character arcs and plot lines. Working through a block. Generating something that you knew was going to be wonderful. 
Printing it all off and mailing it to publishers. Trying to find one who would print you. 

Back then, my only connection with the author was what they wrote, how they inspired me, and sometimes a very well crafted photo on the inside back cover with a short bio. 

There was a mystique to authors back then. And, to be honest, I miss it.

The internet has taken the enchantment of authors away from me. I no longer wonder who they are or what they sound like. It is all on their websites for me to see and hear. 
It’s not the same. 
The web has given every Tom, Dick and Harry the chance to say ‘I am an author’ - and for me, it belittles the discipline and the skills that come from those truly worthy of the title. 

In the past, it would have been easier to rub shoulders with A-list Hollywood actors than it would to have access to Patricia Cornwell or Dean Koontz. They were simply a headshot. A picture in a frame. Iconic in the true sense of the word. 

Now, the dynamic has changed. The money that the average Joe might have spent on five top-end authors a few years ago, is now spread across fifty not-so-great efforts on a website.

A 99 cent risk on something that might be good, might be bad, but will more than likely sit somewhere at the low end of the ability spectrum. 
Bought by those who laud Neil Gaiman's "make good art" speech, yet still flitter away money on rubbish that couldn't even get them past the first few chapters. And they do it again and again. A downward spiral of one dollar-funded mediocrity. 
"You get what you pay for!" as the man says.

The online bookstores are still seeing the same if not greater amounts of revenue coming in, but are we cheating ourselves out of the magic? 

I think we are. Which is why I still can’t bring myself to buy books online. I don’t have a Kindle. And while I know it might come across as petty, naive or ‘anti-progress’, I buy my books in bookstores. Proper ones with proper shelves, and a proper smell. 

If a publisher has decided that a book is worth investing in a print run, then that’s usually my benchmark for spending money on it. I can pick it up in my hands, and I can feel how much it weighs. I can experience and appreciate the work that has gone into it. It is a book. 
I find it hard to call a digital representation of a manuscript “a book”. 
There is a tangibility and a value to being able to hold a real one that can never be replaced by a tablet. 
Putting a lifetime of work by Shakespeare or Poe on to a flash-drive the size of a fingernail, is not progress. It is insulting at the very least.

Call that what you will, but for me, we’re losing something very special indeed.