Pride month may be over, but the book flogging never ends for your two favorite queer authors with manly beards! What’s interesting about today’s little discussion is how it took place long before the book dropped, long before we got any feedback on it from the public or the press. This was us back when we were filled with anticipation, not knowing how the book would be received (Spoiler: It wound up being received extremely well).
In November, we had the distinct pleasure of recording our audiobook, which was not something we’d ever pictured ourselves doing – not even as we were writing said book. Authors are rarely asked to record their own books, but we had 250 hours of podcasting under our belts and that was good enough for Penguin Random House to ask us to do the deed. We were incredibly nervous about it, but thanks to a month of rehearsing and a very good audio director, we pulled it off. At least we think we did. Our director thought so, anyway. That director, Zane Birdwell, sat down with us in the studio minutes after we recorded the final words of the book to chat a bit about it with us and you can catch our conversation in the second half of this PRH podcast.
Not just a conversation about the book, it was also a musing on the singular experience of reading your own words out loud to an unseen audience, sitting alone in a recording studio, struggling to keep your voice modulated, your tone friendly and inviting, your writing clear, your emphasis on all the right words and syllables. As a writer, it’s as illuminating a look into your own writing as an intensive editorial process. You come away with a sometimes painful knowledge of the phrases you fall back on, the words you tend to overuse, and the sentences you’ve overwritten to a point that reading them out loud requires careful planning and mapping out. Recording this book remains one of our favorite professional experiences in all the years since we started our blogging and writing careers and we still get a little thrill thinking about that moment when our director and the recording technician (who both said they always have doubts about authors who record for the first time) looked at each other after we read the first sentence and said “Oh, these guys will be fine.”
You can also to us read the first few pages of the book here. On a personal note, all of this was recorded two weeks after Tom’s dad passed away. In a strange way, we’ll always think of the audiobook as connected to Tom Sr.’s death because Tom Jr. took a week off from rehearsing the audiobook to rehearse his father’s eulogy. That experience was so singularly intense that it literally pushed Tom into becoming a more practiced and smooth public speaker and in turn resulted in (what we would consider) a much better recording. So … thanks, Dad!
Now, doesn’t that sound inviting and soothing and fascinating? Don’t you want to hear more of our dulcet tones and cartoon voices? Well you’re in luck, darling! You can actually pay for the privilege by going HERE!
The flogging never stops, you see.