Today, November 12th, at eleven o'clock a.m, I am scheduled for the final recording session at "The Roost," my son Jimmy's recording studio. This will be our second audio book ... the first one being Contact Sport. This one, Reunion, has been extremely emotional since the story is, if I may use a term that officially does not exist, a fictional memoir. That said, reading the story aloud was very personal, even though the work consists of both real and imagined scenes and people. However numerous portions, based on "writing what you know," are fundamentally true to the era of the 50's and 60's. In addition, emotions that come with growth and maturation as a human being, especially with parent-child interactions and memories, can be painful.
But back to the facts ... just the facts Ma'am. Today will be the 12th recording session, according to my somewhat suspect calendar. But that is close, and if it's really the 13th or even 14th, it wouldn't make any difference in my observations and comments. Unlike the recording of "Contact Sport," this story was very close to my heart. I got more and more comfortable with inflection, and even accents, and several scenes brought me to tears. My wife, Diana, was present for some of the later, very raw and emotionally tender sessions, and even sat just behind me in the main tracking room with the primary microphone stand. To go through that with her and with son, Jimmy, on the other side of the glass window, in full view of me, was difficult. Just try to imagine baring your soul with two people who were on the same journey for much of the time.
Each recording session was at least an hour in actual "reading on the record," and some went as long as two hours. However I found that standing there, and "acting out" the story with passion and inflection and concentration was very tiring, and I was completely exhausted both physically and emotionally. As a result, most of the later sessions were limited to sixty minutes or maybe a bit longer. I went back and re-recorded the first five chapters based on Jimmy's feeling that I had gotten much better in depicting the feeling and enjoyment for a listener.
Using an average of seventy-five average minutes and twelve sessions (there might have been one or two more), this calculates to 900 minutes of actual standing and recording, or fifteen hours. Let me tell you, that's a lot of work! My respect for professional actors who read audio books went up a great deal.
At any rate, Reunion was published in March, 2012, as a second printing to correct some text errors (all mine, due to inexperience) in the December, 2011 version. Most of the audience who might be expected to read the book based on regional interest has done so, therefore the audio-book market is not going to be large. But I can say that it will be worth it to any souls who listen to the story in Audio Book format, which will be available on www.audible.com and all other major Audio Book downloading formats. Jimmy will need up to a month to do final edits and the mixing/mastering prior to release to Audible.com, so look for the final product somewhere in the Mid-December time-frame ... hopefully for Christmas. But the story will be there "forever," and perhaps far beyond my time here, some future offspring might find this story interesting not only as a great "tale," but in the actual voice of a family predecessor.
* Please check out my books and blogs on my author website
and recommend them to your friends. Also, recall that I’ll travel to any book club (or radio club) within two hours of Austin to discuss either of the books and answer any questions. Any and all comments are welcome either by email to my return address, email@example.com, or to the website in the comments section after any blog.
* Reunion is available in stock at Tamarack on the West Virginia Turnpike as well as at amazon.com and other Internet locations. It’s under consideration for a movie.
*Contact Sport is in stock in hardcover print form at any of the thirteen HRO (Ham Radio Outlet) stores nationwide as well as at DX-Engineering and the American Radio Relay League. In addition, many Barnes and Noble stores nationwide carry it in stock, and they as well as Book People in Austin or any independent bookstore can order it. You can buy direct at my website’s link for a personalized copy. In addition, Contact Sport is available in either eBook or/and audible book formats.