In this podcast, Aubrey Parsons talks about voice acting, audiobooks, narration, and much more.
About Aubrey Parsons
Aubrey Parsons is a professional voiceover, artist, and singer.
Thanks for Listening!
Help out the show:
- Support This Is Horror on Patreon
- Listen to This Is Horror Podcast on Apple Podcasts
- Listen to This Is Horror Podcast on Spotify
- Rate and review This Is Horror on Apple Podcasts
- Share the episode on Facebook and Twitter
- Subscribe to This Is Horror podcast RSS Feed
Let us know how you enjoyed this episode:
- Buy House of Bad Memories by Michael David Wilson, narrated by Aubrey Parsons
- Watch video versions of This Is Horror Podcast conversations on YouTube
- Watch the video version of the conversation with Aubrey Parsons on YouTube
They’re Watching by Michael David Wilson and Bob Pastorella
Read They’re Watching by Michael David Wilson and Bob Pastorella right now or listen to the They’re Watching audiobook narrated by RJ Bayley.
House of Bad Memories by Michael David Wilson
From the author of The Girl in the Video comes a darkly comic thriller with an edge-of-your-seat climax.
Denny just wants to be the world’s best dad to his baby daughter, but things get messy when he starts hallucinating his estranged abusive stepfather, Frank. Then Frank winds up dead and Denny is held hostage by his junkie half-sister who demands he uncovers the cause of her father’s death.
Will Denny defeat his demons or be perpetually tortured for refusing to answer impossible questions?
House of Bad Memories is Funny Games meets This Is England with a Rosemary’s Baby under-taste.
Michael David Wilson 0:28
Welcome to This Is Horror, a podcast for readers, writers and creators. I'm Michael David Wilson, and every episode alongside my co host, Bob Pastorella. We chat with the world's best writers about writing, life lessons, creativity, and much more. Today I am chatting to Aubrey Parsons as part of the house of bad memories podcast weekend. And he is a voice actor and a writer. And he is in fact the audiobook narrator for the aforementioned brand new book, House of bad memories. So if you want to learn all about audiobook, no rating and voice acting, then this is the episode for you. But before we get into it, a quick advert break
Bob Pastorella 1:24
House of bad memories the debut novel from Michael David Wilson comes out on Friday the 13th this October via cemetery gates media. Danny just wants to be the world's best dad to his baby daughter. But things get messy when he starts hallucinating his estranged abusive stepfather Frank, then Frank winds up dead and Denise held hostage by his junky half sister who demands he uncovers the cause of her father's death with Danny to feed his demons or be perpetually tortured for refusing to answer impossible questions. Clay McLeod Chapman says house of bad memories hit so hard, you will spit teeth out once you're done reading it. Preorder house of bad memories by Michael David Wilson and paperback at cemetery gates media.com or an e book via Amazon. From the host of This Is Horror Podcast comes a dark thriller of obsession, paranoia and voyeurism. After relocating to a small coastal town, Brian discovers a hole that gazes into his neighbor's bedroom. Every night she dances and he peeps, same song Same time, same wild and mesmerizing dance. But soon Brian suspects he's not the only one watching. She's not the only one being watched. They're Watching is The Wicker Man meets Body Double with a splash of Suspiria They're Watching by Michael David Wilson and Bob Pastorella is available from this is horror.co.uk Amazon and wherever good books are sold.
Michael David Wilson 2:48
Okay with that said, Here it is. It is Aubrey pass and on there says Hara. Aubrey, welcome to This Is Horror as part of the house of bad memories weekend. How're you doing?
Aubrey Parsons 3:06
I'm very well. Thanks. Yeah, it's it's an early start for me today but ready to ready to answer any of your sort of deeper meaningful questions this morning. Okay,
Michael David Wilson 3:19
well, we're going to kick off with one I often like to ask and I mean, it's maybe a bit harsh for before 6am. But I want to know, what early life lessons did you learn growing up?
Aubrey Parsons 3:38
I learned that if you want to get something done, the only person that's going to get it done is yourself. And it's it's a philosophy that I carry with me to this day in that if you want to do something, you have to do something you can't expect you can't sort of dream about wanting to be, for example, wanting to be a voice actor, or a singer or, you know, a great athlete. The only way that's that's going to happen is if you put in a lot of hard work. I was as a as a youngster, I had a hard time in school. I was I was ginger. I never had the best of health when I was younger. So it's kind of picked on all the time. So it was you're the only person that could could get through that was me. And I think in the long term that makes you know what happens to you in when you're when you're a kid affects you for the rest of your life and makes you the person that you are and you can either sort of give up or you can dust yourself down and kick your own backside. So, yeah, I think that realization at And when I was, when I was a youngster, I wanted to be an actor or a singer. And I remember going to my career's teacher in school when I was about 14 or 15. And saying, saying, as such, and him looking at me and saying, don't be so stupid boy, there's no possibility that that's ever going to happen. You can go and work in a printers, and that that was the attitude. But I was a stubborn little sod. And even though I went through life, doing various jobs that I hated, I eventually ended up doing what I love. So that's purely by, you know, if you want to get something done, you've got to do something. So I guess that's it.
Michael David Wilson 5:46
Yeah. Yeah. It's a good life lesson to learn, and particularly at such an early age. I mean, that doesn't sound like it was ideal circumstances and how you learnt it, but I mean, it. But
Aubrey Parsons 6:00
it is that it's, you know, it's that saying that you quite often hear you know, what doesn't kill us, make us makes us stronger? And in a way, you know, discipline was different when I was younger. Now, it's no, well, we'll sit the child down, and we'll give them a will, we'll try to explain to them so that they understand what they've done is wrong. You know, if I was, if I if I was when I was a youngster if you want to stick your hand in a fire, because we're curious. And that's the kind of silly things that we do. You get a slap and that and that was like, oh, okay, I understand that I shouldn't do that. And it's short, sharp, you know, I'm not advocating corporal punishment, but you know it. And I really feel like an old man saying this, but it never did me any. Right, a long run.
Michael David Wilson 6:54
To take it back to the voice acting and this kind of lesson of doing, you know, you have to do the work if you want something to happen. I'm wondering when did you get your first job either within voice acting or creative endeavors? When was that and how did that come about? Well, I
Aubrey Parsons 7:17
was concerned, I always wanted to be an actor or, or a singer. So when I even when I was sort of six, I think I joined my I was a singer for 35 years. And I joined my first band when I was 16. I still keep in touch with all the guys from that band now. And I kind of went through life. Like I said, I had to, I had to have proper jobs, obviously, to pay for things because trying to become a full time musician at that age, it just wasn't viable. There wasn't enough, work around and you either became, you know, famous and earned loads of money or you were a jobbing gigging musician, and I was the latter. I remember one morning waking up when I was 22 years old. And thinking, I'm never going to be a rock star. Because I'm too old now and past it, you know, the opportunity has gone. And that was that was a bit of a shock. But then, I just carried on gigging. And it wasn't until I was in my early 30s That I'd been in, I've worked in a number of jobs in the music industry. And I was a computer programmer I, I was a tour guide on top of a bus, I did all sorts of jobs. And then I was working in radio. I was a news editor, a news presenter. And I just thought, gee, you know what, I don't want to be getting up at four o'clock in the morning to present the news. I've had enough. And I was still digging. So I was getting in very late getting up very early. So I decided to Jack everything in much, much to the chagrin of my wife at the time, and become a full time musician. And I pour all my energies into it. And I wish I'd done that when I was in my early 20s. Because I think I'd be in a very different position now. Because by forcing myself into a situation where I had to find work, had to find gigs, had to rehearse. What it did was it made me very, very good at my job, because unless you were brilliant, and you were a big fish in a small pond, and unless you stood out above everybody else, you just wouldn't get the work. So it just pushed me and pushed me to be the best at what I did. And I did it for a long time. Like I said about, in total about 35 years from, you know, when I was part gig and part time to right through to full time. And I was sometimes doing 678 gigs a week, never seeing my family traveling all over Europe, which was nice, but it's work. And not long before COVID I just my body just went, I can't do this anymore. I was exhausted, I was so tired. And I still wasn't making the kind of money that I wanted to be making. So, I took the decision to jacket in and being a full time gigging singer. And I thought, what can I do that still involves those talents and acting that I've, I've always loved. And I thought I was listening to a lot of audio books at the time. And I thought I can do that I'm sure I can do that. So I sat down, and went through the lengthy process of teaching myself how to be an audio book narrator and a voice actor. Over during COVID, because I have some health issues, which meant I had left the marital home, I was I was in a house in the countryside with with us, as room converted into a studio. And there was nothing else to do because I was completely isolated from everyone else. Because because of this condition that I've got. And it meant I had to I all I could do was work and and practice and learn how to become a voice actor. So it was just, it was sort of, I suppose just before and during COVID that this, this whole change of direction took place. And I started auditioning for audiobooks. At the time, I wasn't looking so much at additional voiceover work like commercials and narration and that kind of thing. That that came as a as a natural sort of side, side element. But I happened to have to do an audition for an author, who was who had also been through a big transition in his life. And he got divorced. And he was he was literally on his on his backside financially. But he had some author friends that said to him, Look, crime writing is where it's at, right? Crime readers are crime and horror readers are voracious, they can't get enough you write a book and they want immediately want another one. So this guy started writing this series of books. And and I happen to audition and get the get the first book. And they just absolutely took off. And it was that that then allowed me to take the money that I was earning from the book sales and reinvest it into retraining. So, so for four years, I've been, although I've been working as a as an audiobook narrator, I've been able to take, you know, invest the majority of the money that I earn back in to the business so that I can learn more, because I still have this philosophy that if you want to be successful in any business, you've got to stand out above everybody else. And when you do that, and when you're seen as an expert, and when, when people can see that you're being successful, that just leads to more work, because people want a piece of it. So it's a very long answer to a very short question. But that's where I am now. And it's in fact, it's opened up this whole world of voiceover, and acting. And weirdly, as a result, I've now started getting TV work, and some film work and which is involved singing and voiceover. Because I, I now have a theatrical agent because I was sort of, I got some small bit parts. Doctor Who, for example, and that that hasn't been aired yet, but that immediately led to me getting an agent, which then led to other work and like last week, I was working on a new series for Channel Four called Generation Zed, which is about my favorite subject, which is zombies. Yeah, I got to be in a zombie For zombies Ares, not a big part. But you know, it's, it's all led to now to the way things are going so so that the journey continues, you know, I'm constantly learning every day. And I get some great training from a voiceover company in the UK called Rich craft. And they've they've taught me a lot a hell of a lot, in fact. So yeah, I think any, anybody who's an expert in their field will will say, they never stopped learning. And you don't think it's? What's the old saying? It's a it's a wise man who knows he's not a wise man. So you, you just have to just keep going, you know, when you're going through hell keep going. You can't, you can never rest on your laurels. In any business. I think this would be no exception. So yeah,
Michael David Wilson 16:05
yeah. And you know that there's so many directions, I could now take the conversation, I'm almost spoil for choice. But I mean, you obviously, self taught a lot of the lessons for audio book narration in the space of four years. So I'm wondering, for people listening, who are perhaps, looking to get into that kind of work? Are there any big do's and don'ts or lessons that you wish you'd just been given? Or told at the start? Yeah, I
Aubrey Parsons 16:40
thought I could teach myself. And I did for a long time. There's a number of websites out there, there are hundreds of people out there that will tell you, they can teach you how to be a voice actor. Most of them have only ever done a little bit of voice acting themselves. And then I've got, I'll teach other people a side hustle, they call it nowadays, don't they? But there's, there's, there's a website called gravy for the brain, which is, which was set up by a guy called Peter Dickinson and Peter Dickinson is the voice of X fat guy, he's the guy, right? And you hear his voice all over the place in the UK. And he does X Factor us and, or America's Got Talent. He's got this great website, with with all of these videos and techniques and learning and they have a conference every year. So I did that for a long time, and was teaching myself. Now the best advice I can give to anybody if they want to get into this business, don't do that. Find a good tutor. Find somebody that's well respected, that knows what they're doing. Not not it, you know, and they and they don't come cheap. But there's a reason for that it's because they're very good and they get great results. And although I was doing audiobooks, and and you know, doing okay with him. It was only earlier this year, actually, that I started having training that I was that I was paying for, and most of it is is on online one to one just like we're doing now, some of it is face to face next week, I'm up in London for a course. And the difference that made was like you start freewheeling whereas you're sort of slowly slogging your way up hill trying to trying to, you know, do auditions and get jobs, all of a sudden you have all these techniques in your arsenal, and you freewheel and the jobs just you know, it makes a huge difference. So if anyone is thinking of getting into voiceover, yes, there are loads of resources on the internet, but get training of somebody because they will hear things in your voice that you can't. With the best ear in the world, you might think you sound fantastic. But in reality, if somebody else if you have a third party that really knows what they're doing, they can just give you all these little pointers that will take you from being an okay. Narrator or voice actor to a to a brilliant one that everybody wants to use. So that's my advice, training. Get training.
Michael David Wilson 19:38
Yeah, yeah. And, I mean, you were talking about obviously you want to stand out because I mean, it it is quite a it's almost an overcrowded market, really old and aerators out. So I mean, I'm wondering what you are specifically be doing to stand out. I mean, for from my perspective and from speaking with David moody, one thing that was like a really good selling point is, Aubrey can pretty much do any accent you want. Like, you know, I've worked with a number of an array as before, and your range isn't wider than pretty much anyone that I've worked with. So is that kind of one of your intention or unique selling points? And what what else, you know, are you doing to stand out in a oversaturated market?
Aubrey Parsons 20:38
You're right, it is it is absolutely an oversaturated market. And in addition to that, AI has now reared its ugly head. One of the reasons the the actors and writers strike that has been taking place in the US is because of AI, people are very, very worried that their voices are being cloned. And it's affecting the overall pricing of voiceover, is lowering it. So, to stand out, you have to be exceedingly good at what you do, but also exceedingly good at everything to do with VoiceOver. So, yeah, accents and character voices are, they're all part and parcel of being an actor. Really, you know, when I was when I was growing up, it was silly voices all the time and impersonating people. And that is absolutely carried forward into my voiceover narration. With accents, it's a case of you need to listen. People try and do various accents without practicing them. And consequently, you know, the classic one is people trying to do a Welsh accent, and they end up sounding like someone from the, you know, from the Indian continent, it's always amuses me that that happens, but it's, I've had various bits of training, especially for the US accent and regional us accents, because obviously, there is a general American accent, which is what you'll generally hear news readers and TV presenters in the US. Using this general accent, everybody can understand. It's like RP English. But then cuz you've got all the regions. My my partner comes from Kentucky. So she has, but she lives in Ireland. So she has quite a quite a sub, you know, it's a softened Southern American accent with a whole bunch of Irish in it. And, you know, I tried to, sometimes I hope she didn't see that. You know, I sometimes try and get her accent and impersonate it not, not with not in front of her. But in practice, you know. Here's a classic example. I auditioned recently for for a gaming job. I now do a lot of gaming voiceovers. And it the brief was, you are a warrior blacksmith. So I auditioned. And I thought, right, I'm going to be a big Welsh warrior blacksmith. So did this audition with his very strong
Welsh accent. Or I'm here to date asleep, some bloody dragons.
And I went into the studios in Soho. And like, the director was there and down the line. One was in California. One was in I don't know where the other one was. But were the two writers of the game. And then I had a director and a producer in the studio with me. And I said, right, so you want the you want the Welsh, the Welsh warrior version? Actually, Aubrey, when we're thinking we're thinking Scottish, so I was like, oh, okay, Scottish, so I go in the booth. And I open my mouth and I'm a white guy does slay some dragons do not I mean, get really giving it, you know, full on heavy sort of blows Weejun Scottish, and the little voice down the line said, Actually, oddly, I'm just wondering if you could give the character a slightly more Edinburgh accent and I thought, Oh, great. One of these guys is actually Scottish. And they're asking me to do a Scottish accent. So I said, Oh, okay. So you mean less Billy Connolly and more. David Tennant. That's exactly what I mean. So you I had to flick very quickly and change. And the only way you can, you can, you know, accent don't come naturally, because you have your own accent. Mine is mostly very generic my normal accent with a slight end of Welsh, because I'm Welsh. But that gives me a flat base to put other accents on top of. And then the the, the character voices quite often come from the accent, you know, I mean, in House of bad memories, the the, you know, the, the main baddie is, is a bromine. And, you know, I just imagine this, you have, you have to, you know, I will always say to authors, give me a character sheet, you know, the characters are give me a little bit of background doesn't have to be anything massive, but the, is there anything wrong with them? They have they, they had a bad life, or they you know, what kind of person are they? And from that, you can then imagine their voice. And that just that comes in your head? It's a question I get asked all the time, where do the voices come from? And unfortunately, the voices are in my head. Yeah. And they form and they form a life of their own. So yeah, it's, I love accents, and I love doing characters. So I'm lucky in that respect, not all narrators do that. And not all narrators will change their voices for the characters, they just do straight reads a lot of I've noticed quite a few American audiobook narrators, they just do straight reads. I find it boring, you know, books, were always originally, were meant to be read out loud. Because if you had a village of 100, people, probably only one person would be able to read. And it was and they would read the stories out to people. And that's what books were written for. And if you read a book, without moving your lips, it was actually the you know, the church would think that you were possessed in some way it was it was really seen as, as being weird and strange and not right. So even monks, when they were when they were reading scripts, had to move their lips, or when they were reading. Otherwise, it was like, you know, you were the Devil Incarnate. So, you know, books were always meant to be read out loud. And anybody can read a book, like a menu, and just read the words that are there, which is pretty much what AI does, you know, AI certainly can't at the moment that it can't put in that, you know, if somebody's dying, or if the crying author upset or if they just made love, AI can't put that emotion into the voice. I'm sure it will do one day. But, you know, a human can do that. And a human can express that emotion. And, and that's what I think being an audiobook narrator is all about. It's getting, it's turning those words on the page into words that people hear where they can conjure these images, and feel the emotions in their head, you know, in their, in their being. You know, romance, horror, crime, whatever every genre, you know, you the great narrators are the ones that can really, you can listen to it, and not even think you're listening to a book. You know, it's it's somebody's telling you a story, but they're not reading it. They're performing it. And that's something that I that I always try and do is it's hard, but it gets gets results.
Michael David Wilson 29:10
Yeah, yeah. And I mean, one reason that I always make sure that I have an audiobook version of my books is because I'm a great fan, a listener a reader of audiobooks. So, like, you know, it's a growing market as well. I think that it is an investment for the future. And to me if you don't have the audiobook version, you are leaving money on the table.
Aubrey Parsons 29:36
Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. I still. So there's Amazon, as you know, Amazon have their own Kindle Store in their own bookstore, which is which is brilliant because it allows now people to self publish, whereas before it was very difficult to get a book Publish. And there is and the returns were awful. People seem to think that if you if you sell a book through a publishing house, you're going to make loads of money. They take all the money, they give you a tiny percentage with with places like Amazon and find a way voices, which are the platforms that most authors now use, you get a much better return on your on your book sale. But also, there's the mechanism there to allow you to have have an audio book created and look for other narrators, which is the process. How we met. Joe, for anybody watching this, they probably wouldn't realize that if an author isn't based in the UK, or the US, or
Michael David Wilson 30:54
Australia, I think, yeah, and like I think Ireland as well, yeah.
Aubrey Parsons 30:59
and Ireland. If you're not based in those countries, you can't get your audio book produced through Amazon. It's all tax. It's yeah, it's a pain in the backside. But there are alternatives, like find a way voices, which is another distribution network. But on there you can you can find all these, these voiceover actors and with with the authors. And it's really important. So I, quite often I will look at sip, for example, the the best selling top selling 50 crime novels that are currently on Amazon. And I'll go through all of them. And I go, who hasn't got an audio book. And when I find a book that doesn't have an audio book with it, I'll get in touch with the author. And I say you're an audio book, this book needs, it must have an audio book, you know, and then you it's a sales technique, but you pitch yourself and send them a demo. And and that's, you know, I've been successful doing that. I'm surprised more people don't don't do it. You got to be proactive. Yeah, that's the same with you as an author, you know how important it is. Books just don't sell themselves, you be prepared to put in the the legwork for the, for the for the marketing of the book. Yeah. Eventually, if a book is good enough, it will create its own momentum. But to get it out there, you've got to work hard.
Michael David Wilson 32:32
Yeah. Yeah. And of course, I mean, word of mouth is so important, too. And, of course, like we mentioned him before, but it was David moody saying like, look, I he said he had like a great struggle for many books, finding a good narrator. And then when he connected with you, it was like, yes, now, I have found the narrator for me. So I mean, I'm wondering, obviously, you said you're a huge zombie fan. But how did you first get connected with David? Well,
Aubrey Parsons 33:05
because I'm a huge army fan, and his his original series autumn. I read all the books, and I just, there aren't a huge amount of zombie genre novels based in the UK that are good. And there's lots of there's lots of pulp. But he's he's really stood out. And I read the book a long time ago, when he first wrote the books when they came out. I read them then and I loved them. And then I was unlucky in it, and he'll agree with this, but I was unlucky enough to see the movie that was made.
Michael David Wilson 33:50
I've seen the movie too. Yeah. And it
Aubrey Parsons 33:52
was such a great yeah, had the potential at such a great cause that Dexter Fletcher who is if you don't know, listen to any McDonald's ad in the UK, he's the voice of McDonald's. He's a brilliant actor, director, producer, writer, you know, genius guy. And it had David Carradine you know, Kung Fu who is now sadly no longer with us. So you know, potential for brilliant cast, but they won't set it in America. And it was just awful. They gave the film itself to try and make it spooky. Just made it look like a really bad 1980s video copy. But I know David, David Scott stuff it will Fingers crossed. He's got stuff in the pipeline for some others. But so I read those books ages ago. And it was a case of I saw that he had rebooted the series. And I tapped him up. I sent him a message great ice See The rebooting the series? I love your stuff. Can I audition for it? And that's, that's what happened. Yeah, he put it out for general audition for, you know, searching for an author and I caught it just at the right time. And I sent him a message saying I've read, I've read all your existing books, and the autumn books, and hater and all of those. And I said, I'm desperate to do that I really want to do this, you know. And so I went through the audition process like everyone else. And he came back and said, I want you to do it. So, you know, it's, it's always if, if there's a genre, or a book that you really like, and you want to do the audiobook, ask, you know, get in touch with the author. And if there isn't already an audio book. Flattery will get you everywhere. Yeah.
Michael David Wilson 35:58
Yeah. Yeah. And I mean, of course, like I couldn't help but know is when I looked at your website, you have a testimonial from Sir Anthony Hopkins.
Aubrey Parsons 36:10
Michael David Wilson 36:11
How did that come about? Su
Aubrey Parsons 36:13
it's a bit of a cheat in that, but it but it is voice related. So for many years, I was the resident singer in what was? Well, it still is, but it is five star hotel and garlic, but it was the only five star hotel in Cardiff in Cardiff Bay. And it's so it's not in the center of Cardiff City itself. Cardiff is in Wales. Wales, is not part of England for anyone watching this is I spend time in the US and they qualify to go Wales, England. No. Yeah. Sorry, I digress. And I would sing there on a Friday evening and a Sunday lunchtime. Very posh folks, you know, Michelin star restaurant and sit in a corner and croon. And there were there were a few times when I was well, more than a few times a lot of celebrities would stay in the hotel because it was slightly out the way. And it was the weekend of Sir Anthony Hopkins birthday. And he had also come to unveil a statue of Tommy Cooper who was a was an English comedian. And I was singing in the bar, and I was singing away. And he walked in the bar and he walked past me. And he stopped. And I sort of looked at him and I thought, well, that's Hannibal Lecter. And then forward, and he just went Aubrey, what a beautiful voice and just carried on. And I thought, well, that's going on my website. Yeah. And I had a number of incidents like that. I was singing one Sunday afternoon, and this guy came in, he looked like a tramp. Very scruffy, old. And whenever I take a break, I'd stand on his on the end of the bar, very long bar and stand on the and out of the way. They pulled me a drink knowing that I was about to take a break. So there's one afternoon this guy came in, and I was just about to take a break. And he stood him in my spot one day. And I thought, Oh, well, I I'll go and stand on the end of the bar anyway, because I don't want to be, you know, in the way of the front of the bar with with the rest of the punters. And I stood and I went to get my drink and this voice from next to me, because I have I used to have a podium with my name on it. The voice next we went, Aubrey, you have an absolutely remarkable voice. And I turned and it was John Hurt the actor. And he was in kind of filming Doctor Who. And I didn't I didn't sing again that day, because I spent the rest of the afternoon stood at the bar with John Hurt drinking red wine. So, yeah, but testimonials are really important. Yeah, yeah. You know, there are testimonials on my website from other authors, not not just I mean, celebrities looks great, doesn't it? But you know, that certainly, as a as a, an audiobook narrator probably the most important testimonials you can get are from authors that you've worked with. You know, there's nothing better than than an author giving you a good recommendation. Because, again, that when you're seen to be good at what you do and successful, other people want a piece of it, so which is always a good thing.
Michael David Wilson 39:57
Yeah, yeah. And I noticed too, that you've been doing some work with Ian Rob Right, who in terms of like, I guess the kind of independent self publishing UK horror scene? I mean, he's right at the top of the game, you know, with people like David.
Aubrey Parsons 40:16
Yeah. Well, I stopped, I think, was the first book I did within might have been escape, I think it was one of you know, he'd done he'd already done a load of books by the time we cross paths. Again, I auditioned, saw the book, love, I love that I love the horror genre, you know, it's if you look at my, my, my playlist on on Netflix, most people would run a mile. And again, I read one of his books, and I thought, Oh, this is great. You know, this is. So when it came up for audition, I was like, straight on it. And I remember doing, I think it was escape I did first. I did, I did escape. And then I went on and did another, he's quite prolific, and he's sort of eaten off churn them out, as well, you know, they're great. Like, he's just, he's doing the series at the moment, the last manuscripts. So he's bringing out one every sort of two or three months. But I remembered after I'd done like this sort of second or third book for him, we had a conversation. And I said, You want me to do any more for you? And he went, What do you mean? I said, Well, if you've got any more books coming out, do you want me to do them? Or will you put them out for audition? He went, No, he said, your minor right. And now you will do all my books, which was, you know, that was, that made me feel brilliant. And what, what you find quite often is, you know, when you start working with an author, unless you do something really stupid, they you become their voice. And the author was telling you about earlier on, David, David gatward. Oh, yeah. writes this grim up north series, DCI Harry grim. And we, we had a, he did a conference last last weekend for his, his readers and listeners, up in Yorkshire. And he was on the podium, and he was being asked questions. And, you know, I think somebody said something like, Well, where does your inspiration come from? And, and he, he said, he's not quite sure where it all comes from. But the idea is for him in his head, but he said, but when he writes, it's my voice is in his head when he writes not his. Yeah. Which is amazing compliment, you know. And, you know, I've had conversation with David, where he said, that there can never be another author for the groom series. It has to be me now. Because everyone's so grown so used to it. But you get that with, with like, the Harry Potter series, there were a couple of different authors. But most people, you'll say, Harry Potter audiobooks, oh, Stephen Fry, you know, but there were other narrators in the beginning. But he then just became the voice of Potter, you know? And people have people then they can immediately associate when a new book comes out, because it's the same voice. Yeah, not all authors are like that. I've noticed that some authors, they'll, they'll have a different narrator for every book, that's fine. You know, I mean, if if it's different characters, and different protagonists fine. But if you've got if you've got characters that continue from book to book to book, I think it can, could become confusing for listeners. Because it was like, well, it didn't, didn't, didn't didn't John have an American accent or a deep southern American accent last time, and now he's from New York, and his voice has gone up. You don't want to confuse people. Maybe that's just my sales pitch.
Michael David Wilson 44:26
No, I mean, I think it makes a lot of sense. Like, I mean, both as a listener and an author, I mean, as as a listener, I want consistency. Particularly if it's a series it's just kinda too jarring if the accent has now switched, and I'm having to track your things. And obviously, the accent can inform the character and their personality. But then, from a writer perspective, both for myself and having spoken with other offers, it's interested in how once they've got an audio book out there? Or if there's a film adaptation, if they then write a subsequent book, it's kind of an amalgamation of a sequel to their book, but also a sequel to the film or to the audio book, because once you've heard or you've seen you kind of can't unsee or unhear it?
Aubrey Parsons 45:22
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah. It's. Yeah, I mean, I think it's important to keep consistency. You know, if an author writes a book, and they have their own style, and the next book in the series, they decide to try a different writing style, then that will equally throw the reader. So yes, you have, you have to have consistency of, of writing styles, consistency of characters, character voices, unless there's some, you know, there's, there's a specific reason you change a character. You know, obviously, in the world of literature, you can do whatever you want. Because, you know, you're not restricted by anything. You're whatever your mind thinks you can you can put on the page. So if a character, you know, transitions from being male to female, then fine, then that you could do so with with the narrator. Otherwise, yeah, you're just going to confuse the hell out of people.
Michael David Wilson 46:24
Aubrey Parsons 46:26
I mean, yeah.
Michael David Wilson 46:30
Well, I mean, you said that you've been interested in horror for the vast majority of your life. So I'm wondering, what were your first experiences with horror stories or horror movies? So when you were growing up, what were some of the early films and books that you rant? So
Aubrey Parsons 46:49
there were, I remember,
for a couple of years, during my, in my childhood, I moved to mid Wales I currently live near Cardiff. I live in moved up to mid Wales into the countryside. And it was there I kind of got interested in sort of ghosts and you know, that the whole sort of unexplained phenomena.
But there were there was a series of claimed UFO sightings down in west Wales. They call it the Green Triangle, but it was it was down.
So sort of south south of St. Davids in west Wales. And and it was, it was quite a big thing at the time. It was, you know, I remember seeing on John Cravens news round of all places, the school kids being interviewed, that they'd seen a couple of UFOs. And it was a big hullabaloo about it. And weirdly over the years that kind of blew over. But recently, there's there's a there's a Netflix documentary at the moment about the unexplained and they and they do a whole episode on what happened there. So that kind of piqued my interest in the unexplained and I guess that kind of let you know, and I was, there was some local ghost stories. I remember getting my parents to take me to this church that wasn't too far from us, that reportedly had you know, ghost sightings. I suppose it's, it's the whole romance of the unexplained. But then that kind of led into my love of horror. And the first book I remember reading, that was horror, was actually a paperback version of the movie Alien. My parents had bought the book, because the film was out at the time. So what was that 79 or something? And I couldn't I couldn't go to the cinema to see it too young. So I read the book. And it gave me the most horrendous nightmares. And I remember my dad telling me off and reading the book there's a nick the book and read it. And he was like, you stupid you shouldn't have told me you shouldn't be reading this stuff, you know? But that kind of got got my got my interest going. And then I kind of I've always been fascinated like a lot of people, you know, the end of the world scenarios. This this imagining that you're the last person or one of only a few left an empty world. And, and years later, I read a book called The purple cloud, which was written in like the end of the last sort of end of the 18th century, I think, or very early 19th century. And it's, it's all about a guy who is left alone on the world, this, this purple cloud comes out of the ground, and basically wipes everyone out. But he, for various reasons, he manages to survive. And it's, it's not so much about the the the fact that everybody's dead and you know, the calamity, it's more about the human condition. Which is very much what David moody writes about with his, with his novels, it's the people that are left and how they behave. And that's always fascinated me, how will people survive? And how will they behave? And you get you always get this or seem to always get this massive breakdown in society and rules and and, and that's always fascinated me. I'm not the zombie thing is it just I don't know what it is it piques my interest. When it when it comes to horror, I'm not so much interested in, you know, mythical monsters or even a lot of sort of religious sort of unexplained phenomena. That doesn't really do it for me. You know, stuff like The Exorcist, great film, but not not my bag. Yeah. But when it comes to that sort of desolation of the world, and what would be left behind? That, that always grabs me. I don't know why. It's, you know, I suppose. Quite often, we all have this fantasy of oh, I'm the last person left alive. What would I do? You know, reality you be bored to death. Probably. Kill yourself. But yeah, so horror has been with me. A long, long time. I like The Walking Dead. I was getting the comic books when they first came in. Unfortunately, they did exactly what they did to last with The Walking Dead. They ruined it. Yeah. And it just, it just went with instead of going out with a bang, which it could have done. It just sort of, like with a whimper, I suppose. Which is a real shame. But
Michael David Wilson 52:41
Yeah, I mean, I think the first few seasons that The Walking Dead were fantastic and could leave the conversation that
Aubrey Parsons 52:54
The Walking Dead, that was that was good. I was interested in that. There then there are a number of books over the years that have really, that I go back to I Am Legend, you know, Soviet Matheson, it was just, I mean, brilliant view. The original book is just fantastic. There's various versions of that. That had been done over the years. The Will Smith movie could have been a hell of a lot better. And they completely bastardized the original book does it but I felt the original book is is much more sinister. And you know, it's a great twist on vampires really? That's a book that's always that and of course the other one is the one that really fascinated me was was it was said the film was okay you know, even based something Cardiff but the original is so much better because it is those accounts of lots of different people. It's not just from one person's viewpoint it's a journalist going around the world after the Zombie Wars have ended talking to people about key battles during you know, so it really is like a proper war journalists diary almost. And that piqued my interest because it was a really unique take on on writing a you know on boom So, yeah, have I bored you enough with my
Michael David Wilson 54:47
No. Not at all, and I mean, I really appreciate it with World War Z or World War Zed. You know the epistolary format because I mean, we don't see it. that that much in fiction, anyway, I mean, an example I think of is House of Leaves by Mark Daniel loose ski, but in terms of like, you know, like a zombie book and apocalyptic book being told in a pistol airy format, there isn't anything quite like it. So yeah, I was, I was very disappointed by the movie, but I think sometimes sometimes you get disappointed by movies because the book was so good. And so the movie then didn't in any way measure up to it. But if it had been released as any other movie without that title, then you'd have been like, yeah, all right. It's an average zombie movie. I mean, I find that we've I don't know if you listened to much rock or metal. But I find that sometimes with Metallica albums because it's by Metallica. That an expectation that it will be good. So when they put something merely competent or Okay, out, it's like ice have been disappointing. But if it hadn't been Metallica, you'd be like, Oh, sounds like this band has something. Yeah,
Aubrey Parsons 56:11
yeah, you're right. Yeah. I think certainly with what was said they would have been better off serializing it? And yeah, you could have you could have turned that into a six part series. Epic. If it was done in that style, you know, with the various battles for each, each section. But yeah, that that's Hollywood for you. It's, you know, they, they, they don't often reproduce a book faithfully is very rarely, I mean, look what they did with the Hobbit. Yeah. The, one of the the first ever audio books, although it was done as an audio play that I ever heard, was the Hobbit, done by the BBC. And then they did Lord of the Rings. And I used to have the whole series on a cassette came about that big with 20 cassettes in it. But that was abridged. But it was still brilliant. Because it followed the story in the way the story was meant to be followed. Then they make and they make the movie of certainly of The Hobbit. And they turn it into three films. Why there was no need to do that whatsoever, dragged it out, made it boring for people. I don't understand why they did that. It's like, how much can we rinse out of this? You know? Yeah. Out of this franchise. But you know, and that, which kind of surprised me because because, you know, Peter Jackson, he he makes good films. You know, he's a bloody good director. He was obviously told, No, we need to, we need to make some money out of this and serialize the book into three parts. And by the way, we're going to introduce a load of stuff that was mentioned one line in The Hobbit, you know, yeah. There's like, he's gonna go off for for, and we'll see him in three months time. And that became a bloody separate film. But there we go. Yeah, yeah. My cynical. Take on life.
Michael David Wilson 58:42
Yeah, I mean, Peter Jackson. Now he's obviously most known for Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. But I mean, back in the day, like his early roots, there was some extreme horror and brain dead and I'd love to see him return to that. I mean, it's probably not quite the ascetic that he's going for these days. But But equally, it's like, he's got enough money. So if he wanted to, he just could he doesn't have to take care for him to make money at this point. Oh,
Aubrey Parsons 59:12
that's right. And when you look at films like brain dead, which, on the surface seems like a superficial low budget horror film. It's actually bloody genius. That film. Yeah. And yes, they didn't make it on a low budget. But it's it's an absolute classic gorefest film. Yeah, that that. I mean, it's horror, but it's funny.
Michael David Wilson 59:41
Aubrey Parsons 59:44
When they did the analysis, No, Peter Jackson, but when they did the was it was it Night of the Living Dead? There was the comedy
Michael David Wilson 59:54
kind of return of the living dead.
Aubrey Parsons 59:57
I mean, that film was just brilliant. You know, it was tongue in cheek, but, you know, there were moments in it that were like, Oh my God, you know, it's this there's that scene at the beginning where where the, the gas escapes from the pod and they're in the it's like a supply where warehouse for obviously for like university so it's full of cadavers and split dogs and butterflies, and it's just that scene where they all start coming back to life. It's like, oh, my god that turned my stomach, you know, the split dog sort of whimpering? Yeah. It says sometimes it's the very, very little things in a movie or a book that sort of create these all this imagery in your head and make you go, Oh, God, oh, like, you know, not necessarily the big effects of somebody's head exploding, like, scanners or something, you know?
Yeah. That was.
Yeah, it's the little nuances. They put in films, I think. Which, if you sometimes you can watch a movie, can't you? And then you can watch it again. Yeah. Oh, I missed that. But oh, it is. Yeah. I love all of that.
Michael David Wilson 1:01:17
Yeah, I think it can catch you off guard as well, if you've got a particularly horrific moment in something that is tonally more a comedy and then equally, if you've got something that is pretty brutal, or just harrowing, and then they add some humor. So, I mean, yeah, I'm always interested in how people kind of strike the balance between humor and horror. And you know, what it looks like from writer to writer and obviously, that was something I was conscious of with House of bad memories as well.
Aubrey Parsons 1:01:53
Yeah, yeah, I think I've got a few friends who are, who've seen quite a bit of active service as British soldiers. And they talk about this gallows humor, in that, you know, in even in the worst, most horrible list of situations, someone will crack a joke. And it's, you get the same in movies, where something terrible can happen, and then something funny counteracts it. And I think that's human nature. And it's, and it's a good way of, sort of connecting with with your audience, if you do that. You know, for every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction. And I mean, some films are just complete and utter gore fest, aren't they, but quite often, there will be there will be a moment of, you know, laugh out loud. stupidness, you know, in an awful film, died that scene in Alien. I watched my partner had never seen it. So we watched alien the other day. And I didn't tell her about the were the Xenomorph Blitzer of genres chest. Yeah. And, you know, she jumped, and I said to her, when they made the film, nobody knew apart from John Hurt that that was going to happen, you know, obviously, the special effects people did, but the actors didn't. And it was done purposely to get the reaction that he got off of the of the actors, you know, and those sort of, but then, but then the alien pops out, and it's sort of, and it just looks really funny, you know, when it pops out, and then it shoots off, and it's like, you got those two horrible moment, or that, that horrible moment, offset by that we're looking at stupid little alien, and it makes a stupid noise, like, like a fart and shoot up. You know, and it's a good balance to have in, in, you know, horror, and, you know, with House of bad memories. There are some quite harrowing, you know, bits in that book, but they are offset with these lighter moments and some of the characters, they're just commonly not comical in a in a bad way. They, they, the things they say and do just make sort of giggle, you know? Yeah. Which, which I I'm hoping that was your intent. Yeah. Yeah.
Michael David Wilson 1:04:34
Yeah, no, no, you know, I mean, I've got quite a bit of early reader reaction and it is delightful for me to see like quite a few people saying ju does their favorite character and
Aubrey Parsons 1:04:49
you know, if she was my sister, I don't know. I don't know what I do. She was my sister. She's just, she's obviously the heart of gold. Yeah. I cry, she's annoyed. But you know, but that's that's your that's your somewhat of your lighter elements, you know, the things she says. Yeah, you know they do they make me giggle they really do. She, she was a joy to do. Yeah, I am concerned slightly that some people will go. And this is something that's very hard for a narrator to do when you're a bloke is getting women's voices, right. And normally all I will do is softened my voice and softened my sibilance sibilance to soften the esses. Yeah, that's all I will do for female voices. Because in the past people have gone. Are you just trying to do a woman's voice and you sound or high pitch and it's really annoying. But that's Jade. Jade is high pitched and really annoying. So I did a voice like that. But I'm kind of worried a little bit that some people are gonna I can stand listening to that bloody woman's voice. But that's, that's her. Yeah, you know, she is that person. She's, if you're if you're in. If you're in a room, or if you're in a supermarket, there will be one voice standing out above the rest and it will be Jade's. Yeah. It's I love characters like that you can get your teeth into them. And hammer that up a bit, which is what I've done with Jade.
Michael David Wilson 1:06:35
Yeah, I mean, writing, Jade and Gansa was like the most fun part of the book for me, really. And it's good to hear that it seems to be one of the most fun parts, you know, for readers as well. I mean, there are specific scenes that I really enjoyed writing, but I don't want to mention them. Because then I'm going to spoil things. And it's like, I want people to organically get to those.
Aubrey Parsons 1:07:06
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I mean, I think I think we can we can one thing that we can safely say is that gas is a bit of a lummix. Really, isn't it? Yeah. You kind of feel sorry for him. Yeah. But But yeah, the way you wrote that character is you do have empathy for him. And in fact, you have empathy for Jade. Because, because she, she is this, you know, she got big heart really. She's just really bloody annoying when it is. But but but we all know people like that. We know people that are that are really quite loud. And out there and over the top, but really, they just, you know, they I have a friend. And he's very much like that. And I always describe him, I say, oh, yeah, a heart of gold knob of butter. You know, he's, he's, he's well meaning and wouldn't wouldn't do anything to anyone.
And yeah, annoying. So,
Michael David Wilson 1:08:16
I mean, for people who are just starting to work with a narrator, what tips do you have for them to have a successful collaboration? And then on the flip side, what kinds of things are you doing to ensure you have a successful collaboration with the writer?
Aubrey Parsons 1:08:39
Communication is really important. Some people take a script. And they never speak to the author and work on it and hand it back. And then the author says, but the main protagonist was from London, not from Scotland. Ah, shit, so they need a load of time. So it's really important that as a narrator, I speak to the author. Like I said, I send out a character sheets for people to fill out. So that I've and I've learned that through making that mistake, by by by giving, you know giving a character certain characteristics and the author going, No, that's not what I meant. Then you have to go back and re record everything. So to make sure you're both singing off the same hymn sheet. You need to have that that conversation and that relationship with the author. Ask questions of the author. If there are any words that you're not sure of or not sure how are pronounced as the author, but they'll be so being prepared Is, is is the main, I think is the is the key fact. And then likewise, as a narrator, you know, you have to ask questions of, of the author, and and let them ask questions back. I mean, it may be, for example, that the author says, you know this, this is set in America, how's your American accent? Don't lie and say, oh, yeah, my American accents are great. And you can't do an American accent, you know, that's no good for anyone. And if something is big, if you think something's beyond your ability, then don't, don't take the job. And the same goes for, if you get a script of somebody, or you're doing the audition, and you think, guys important book, then don't do it. Because that will come across in your narration. You have to be invested in what you're doing and enjoy what you're doing. And it does happen sometimes where, you know, I'll take on a book, because you, when you audition, you only have a small section of the book to audition to. But normally that's that's enough to get get the gist of whether the writer is any good for starters, and what the story is like. But sometimes you can take on a book, and it's full of mistakes, or it's badly written, or, you know, and in those instances, that makes the job hard. I haven't, I haven't yet turned somebody down. And go, No, I can't do this, because that's the whole point of vetting the job in the first place. What I have done is I did work with one author, who was just unreasonable and was demanding that basically that which I guess is an author's right. But he was demanding that he had full control over the way that I performed the audiobook, how I said things, what was said the, the, the way some of the lines were, was spoken, the internet, everything, you just wanted control of everything. And we fell out while whilst I got right to the end of the book. And he just kept coming back, saying I want it done this way I want it does. And in the end, I literally had to say to him, you need to narrate your own books, because nobody is gonna get what you're trying, you know what you want, nobody's gonna be able to do it in the way that you want. That's the core audio version of the conversation. The actual conversation didn't quite go like that. Yeah, it involved with him calling me some very nasty words. blade response was like, never want to work with you ever again. And I dissolved the contract. Yeah, there's no need to be unreasonable with people. Yeah. So buck, the end of the day. Yeah. It's a story. It's, it's entertainment. So, yeah, I mean, do your research, ask questions. And, and due to, you know, when you're, if you're an audiobook narrator like, like I am, who produces all their own work as well. Just know, your staff know how to use your equipment, know how to produce, know how to get the files in the right format of the right levels, and whatever platform you're producing for. They all have different technical requirements. So if you're producing for for ACX, which is the part of Amazon or audible, that is like the background side of it, they're very, very specific about their file requirements, the site the the basically, the sound levels have to be within a very small region of error. And other sites there are a lot more lacks with stuff like that. They don't care so much because they do their own processing but so know your equipment, and understand what you're doing. There's nothing worse than starting work on a project and then realizing you don't know how to use the software that you've got properly. Because I just slows the whole thing down so yeah, ask questions. No your shit.
Michael David Wilson 1:14:55
Yeah, yeah. And I mean, I was speaking to David Moody yesterday because he was kind enough to blurb house of bad memories. So I've tried to get like a number of people on who have been kind of instrumental in the release of the book. And so we spoke briefly about your audiobook narration. And of course, I said to him, like, you know that there were moments where it's like, I knew I was being a little bit pedantic and it's like, God, I hope that I don't piss Aubrey off. But equally, like, I wanted to raise things. But at the same time, if you said, No, that's enough. And like, I guess it's like, it's always a bit of a balance. And I think I think it's harder the first time you work with someone so that now that we've worked together, I think fingers crossed, that I know kind of what is and isn't reasonable to query, you know, going forward, but
Aubrey Parsons 1:16:00
you as, as a, as a narrator, you, you have to have, you have to gain the trust of the author that they trust you to know what you're doing. And there will always be instances where the author goes, Can we can we tweak that? Can we change? In your case, the the accuracy of the text to the speech? You absolutely right, and you have full control over that. And, you know, you are well within your right to say no, I you know, I want it said exactly as it is written on the page. One thing that I do say to authors is, sometimes what is written on the page doesn't convert well to speech. For example, if I was to say, you are if the text said, you are going to do what I tell you. In reality, people would say you're going to do what I tell you, they wouldn't go you are going to do you know, they shorten little bits. So that that has to be taken into consideration. However, you know, like I said, is your book, it's your baby. You know, you Yes, you have your writing what you were doing? I, it's not very often I come across somebody that goes into that level of correctness. But that's fine. That's all part of the job. Technically, if you there's a thing called whisper sync, right? Yes. Which is where some readers will listen to the audio book at the same time as reading it. Not many, but some do. So you want it to be the same, but whisper sync allows for 96% accuracy. So you can have four percents worth of mistakes, which is a hell of a lot, when you when you actually look at it is similar. Like, it's a ridiculous like one in 20 words, you know, a lot, isn't it? But as long as you're not changing any of the context or the meaning, you know, to as a narrator, you know, you do kind of sometimes abbreviate words, or sometimes you will transpose two words, but they mean exactly the same. The meaning doesn't change. But, you know, yeah, accuracy, accuracy is really important. And there's, and it's funny, because it really varies from author to author and from publishing house to publishing house. There are some publishing houses that I work for. And they, they kind of they'll do a superficial check on your, on your work. And they'll come back and they'll say, Oh, can you just change that? That and that, you know, not not much at all, whereas others. They want it word perfect, absolutely. Word Perfect. And that lengthens the whole production process a lot. But, you know, it's their right to do it. It's, you know, it is right. It's but of course, if you're if you're working to time constraints, sometimes you have to go okay, well, we'll, we'll put up with that. Two or 3%. You know, of errors. It's because to, to add is to be human.
Michael David Wilson 1:19:57
Yeah, yeah, and I mean, the way that like I'm trying to look at it as well is like, it's almost like the audio book is an adapt tation in the same way that a film is an adaptation is just a much closer, adapt ation to the text. But yeah, Whispersync is something that I'm very aware of. And so actually, that was why so much going to detail was coming down because I didn't want like whisper sink to reject it. But you know, with, with that margin for error, and now almost like rewiring my brain to be like, it's okay. It's an adaptive nation. And obviously, you know, when you're changing things, the vast majority of the time, that's not a mistake, that is a conscious choice that you know, you're making. So yeah.
Aubrey Parsons 1:20:53
It is very important that you don't change any of the contexts or meanings. You can't Yeah. Sometimes, you, you know, you come across errors that the authors made. And what do you know, one of the most common ones I come across is a character will have been called John all the way through the book. And then all of a sudden, his name is James. Yeah. And that happens more often than you than you'd expect. And it's obviously something in the author's brain, they quite, you know, quite often authors write quite fast. And they miss type a name, or they or they give the character the wrong way, when you have to go back and go. I'm a bit confused here. And if I'm confused, the readers going to be confused. But this character's name, you know, and you pick up little bits like that sometimes, sometimes you pick up on bad grammar or a sentence might have been constructed incorrectly. And it's okay to go back to the author and point that out to them. Occasionally, they that they may fully well have intended to do that, but whatever, yeah. But it's okay to point them out. One job that is, that is not ours as their ators is to edit. That's not our job. Yeah. You know, if something is wrong, is not, we can fix it. If it's just a little thing, like if, if the name was wrong, and I could see that it was wrong. I would change the name to be the right name. But I'd say to the author, on page such and such line, whatever you got the name was wrong, is that correct? But you'd never ever change anything other than a glaring mistake. And like I said, you know, we're not editors, we, we will faithfully reproduce what's written on the page. And sometimes, sometimes, it can be tempting to lead the mistake in yeah, that's, that's, that's a bit cruel, really, you know, because we all make mistakes. So you either change it, or you just double check with the offer. Yeah.
Michael David Wilson 1:23:12
Yeah. And to, to right, as I mean, something that I tried to do, I don't always do it. But you know, as my final pass on a book, and as you probably can tell, I'm quite meticulous, but I try to read everything aloud. Because in reading it aloud, I can then notice not not even necessarily a mistake, but if there's like a repetition or something doesn't quite flow, right. So I think that is like a good tip for for writers, but like that they were even, you know, some things in in hearing you read it where like, I hadn't picked up on me reading it, because I guess like it gives you that distance, and it was shooted on this, like, you know, I know it's some things that I just left in and I was like, I repeat it that word a little bit too close together. But I am also aware that my brain like not everyone is going to be like, well, you repeat it that word. Two sentences in a row. The book
Aubrey Parsons 1:24:25
Yeah, know that. It's interesting, isn't it? That that hearing a book out loud, can can often change even the author's perception of the way that the books the book was originally intended? I mentioned earlier on that, you know, books were well once were always read out loud. In doing so, books were quite often written to be read out loud. Then things change. Then people started reading silently reading to themselves. How annoying would it be if you were sat on the tube? Reading out loud, right? So so people went to silent reading, which I think changed the way authors wrote and wrote books that were meant to be read out. That makes sense. Now we've come full circle. And because of audiobooks, and I've had, you know, I've had this discussion with a number of authors, where they have changed slightly their style of writing to reflect the fact that the book will be read out loud. You know, people use colloquialisms. They they do shorten words and heightening sentences. And so, so send, especially in speech, sentence structure becomes very important. Because you can't have a sentence with 50 words in it, and it's too long. And it goes under sentence keeps going on. You never get to the end of the bloody sentence. And you're so you, people talk. I mean, I can talk. But people talk in sporadic bursts, they take breaths, they pause, they think about what they're going to say. And in writing you because more and more books are now being converted into audiobooks or released as, you know, as audiobooks. You have to think about that when you're writing a characters when a character is speaking, the character thinking, what are they, you know, and those little pauses that people put in a sentence as they're trying to think of what to say all of that is going to be instilled in the text. And that, you know, that then makes it easier again, for the narrator to guy can see exactly what they're getting out here, I can see what I can see the way they want the character to speak. And instilling emotion. You know, it's not, you can't just say
a character saying something, for example, I hate the way you do that, it really annoys me. You know, this is somebody who's fucking angry, you know, they, they, they potentially could hurt the person that boy, you say that? You know? So, to instill that in the text, you have to think about, or how am I going to write this, that conveys the fact that this person is really angry? Yeah. Without just saying, he was really, really angry when he said, you know it, because then then it becomes like, right, in a flipping Janet and John buck or
It's better to sometimes it's better to imply than just make a statement, you know, yeah. function across all.
Michael David Wilson 1:28:15
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I personally try to minimize my dialogue tags as well. And I think it's like a kind of mistake I see, particularly new offers make that there are far too many dialogue tags. And like, you know, like, if it's two people talking, you really don't need many reminders at all. And it's particularly distracting if you know that there's they're not just He Said, She Said, but it's like he bellowed. And it's like, well, instead of that, give us an action. Give us a context, so that it can be inferred that yeah, again,
Aubrey Parsons 1:28:55
this is a conversation I've had with a number of authors in that sometimes, because they put all of those statements in the shed, he said, she said, it becomes quite boring and repetitive when you're reading the book out loud. Yeah, have been instances where I've said to the author, look, we know who's talking because John has a British accent and Sarah's American. Yeah, that will that will come across in the text that the listener can hear that. I don't need to say he said she said, so I will remove those from the text. Because it makes the conversation flow. Yeah. And it becomes much more natural. He said. Yeah, not always, but especially if you've got characters and it's obvious who's speaking, you know, by their accent or their character or whatever. Then I Will I check with the author, but I will often remove those. And as a consequence, authors are now sort of going, I don't need to use those all the time. You know, it can occasionally be a little bit confusing. Where you have lines of text, and you're thinking, well, who's speaking? I don't know who's speaking. But what that does is it makes you go back and reread and work out who's speaking. And then you know, that's fine. But it's it's yeah, it's interesting that that that whole, he said, she said thing is?