Voice Over is No Push Over

I am holed up in a tiny B&B about 7 miles outside Leicester in the village of Mountsorrel for four days. What can an international jet-setting man of my stature being doing in the Midlands you might ask? Well, I am reading a book – my book, “The Self Illusion” for an audio version. I was so unimpressed with the audio version of my last book, “SuperSense” that when the invitation to record the audio version of my new book was made, I jumped at the opportunity to give it my personal delivery. They said it would take four days and I reasoned that I would be done in two. I mean, how difficult is it to read a book? Especially one that you wrote yourself? Well, I have had a large helping of humble pie. Doing audio books is a really tough gig and I am lucky if I finish in the four days. We never appreciate how much we miss and slur our words when we read and the audiobook engineers pick you every lost syllable.

Pat (Archer) Gallimore and Me after a hard days reading

The studio in Syston where I am recording my book has an excellent set-up and I was totally surprised to discover that a fellow reader was none other than Pat Gallimore. When we were introduced, I knew she sounded re-assuringly comforting and very familiar. She explained that I might recognize her professional persona of Pat Archer. Gasp.. For those of you unfamiliar with “The Archers,” it is and has been the leading Radio Four soup opera for the past 60 years and Pat Archer is one of the main characters. The show has one of the strongest, most loyal fan bases in the world.

So Pat and I have been hanging out and discussing the difficulties of voice artists.  I now have a new found appreciation of what they do and more importantly, the difficulty of understanding the written word. For example, I have a problem with the word, “similarly” and vow to avoid this in future books of mine.  I dare say this will be the last time I do an audio reading of my book but it has been a valuable learning experience. But I have come to loath the sound of my own voice.


Filed under book publicity, General Thoughts

11 responses to “Voice Over is No Push Over

  1. Well, you’re not human if you don’t like the sound of your own voice. Even Bono feels that way. I doubt most people would notice a not-so-perfect delivery, for those of us without xm radio (oh, the tragedy) audiobooks are a blessing for drivers, especially books read by the author. I’m an NPR junkie but that’s hit or miss. SuperSense has also given me fuel for arguments with atheists who claim they have no false beliefs whatsoever. 😉

  2. Thalia

    Nearly done!

  3. Supersense in audio version? woww, looks interesting 😉 let me listen it!

    • brucehood

      No this is the new one “The Self Illusion” I agreed to read my new book because I heard the American version of “SuperSense” and thought I could do much better! More fool me.

  4. Charles

    You are scottish, yes? If so, I might just listen to the audio version solely for the accent, similarly if you were irish (I hope you read that aloud).

  5. Four days? As someone who has done a reading of his own debut novel (some 130,000 words) I find that slightly depressing — though presumably you’re not involved with the audio editing (which took many times the actual reading time).

    Looking forward to (the Kindle version of) the book (no aspersions intended on your reading voice…)

    • brucehood

      One of the reason it took so long is that they were editing along the way. They did tell me that four what they anticipated – so maybe not that bad and actually it was really more like 3 as we started in the afternoon on the first day and finished at lunchtime on the fourth

  6. After your hugely impressive performance on the Royal Institution Christmas lectures, I will definitely listen to the Self Illusion rather than read it.

  7. Hi Bruce. A year down the track I’ve decided to start my own wordpress blog and you might be interested to know that you get a substantial mention in it re The Self Illusion, which has stayed in my thoughts. It was great working with you on your book. Best wishes, Gus.

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