Thursday, March 27, 2008

AudioFile Earphones Award

I just learned that the Audio version of Acacia has received a little love from Audiofile Magazine, in the shape of an Earphones Award. This isn't really an award for me (although I'm happy to have a little slice of it). It's one that goes to Dick Hill, the Golden Voiced narrator that brought it to life. Here's the snibbet I received on it:

ACACIA: Book One: The War With the Mein
David Anthony Durham

Read by Dick Hill

Written by noted historical fiction author David Anthony Durham (PRIDE OF CARTHAGE), this epic fantasy is rich with cultural detail. Against the backdrop of an imaginary world, the author explores the things that divide humanity, like race, language, culture, and religion. The story contains assassins and kings and children who grow up trying to make sense of it all. Dick Hill turns in a magnificent performance of this long novel, creating subtle yet distinct differences in the dialects of different peoples. The fluidity with which he is able to switch between these dialects is striking, and a perfectly timed sigh or pause further heightens the believability of the characters. S.D.D. ••• © AudioFile 2008

Congratulations Mr. Hill! (He's heard those words many time, of course, and he'll hear them many more, I'm sure.) If anyone out there wants to have a listen, think about requesting it from your library. Many of them will have it, but also many of them will buy it if you ask...

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Blogger Corby Kennard said...

I do love a good audio book. I'll see if my library has it.

Speaking of which, I listened to The Spiderwick Chronicles read by Mark Hamill which was very entertaining. Hamill does all the different voices and accents.

I also just finished The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. I wanted to recommend this book to you, David. I listened to it on CD, so it may be better or worse actually reading it. But I highly recommend it - the story is densely plotted, the character's voices are very distinctive, and the story just works.

9:17 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

It's great to see the audiobook version getting much-deserved recognition -- Dick Hill's reading was outstanding. I hope that as we get new novels in the Acacia series we get to hear more of him.

David, I've always wondered -- as an author, do you get any power over auditioning potential readers for the audiobook version of your work, or is that the domain of your publisher? Are you allowed to specify 'no abridgements' or make any other demands? How does that all work?

8:47 AM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...


I might try Spiderwick. I actually read a good bit of YA fantasy. Sort of research for some future possibilities... I enjoyed the film - but I know that doesn't necessarily mean much in relation to the books.

The Thirteenth Tale is an interesting idea. I'm certainly aware of it, but it's not a book by description that I'd have thought to pick up. If you recommend it, though, I'll keep it on the shortish list.


Thanks. I hope that Dick gets to come back to Acacia too. I do know (at least from what he says) that he really enjoyed working on the book. I guess that shows in it. If he didn't enjoy it he couldn't have done such a good job - especially considering the hours and hours it must have taken.

As the author, do I have any power at all? Not much. If you're a real celebrity author, maybe, but for the vast majority of us we're only one small part of a world of business decisions. Few publishers want us micro-managing their decisions. I do get to confirm or reject doing an abridgment or not. But that's about it. I'm really only brought into play when my publisher (in the case of Gabriel's Story and Walk Through Darkness) or my agent (in the case of Acacia and future books) emails to say that they have an offer. They'll say who the offer is from, how much it's for, what other offers they had or didn't, and give an opinion on whether it's a good deal. They'll ask if I want to accept. I'll say yes (because with most of these things they don't even bring it to me unless it's probably the end of the line and the best they can negotiate). And that's about it.

But Recorded Books or Tantor never asked me a thing after that. They're separate companies altogether, and they have their own way of doing things, including accessing their quiver of regular narrators. With this, as with so much in publishing, all the author can do is make the decision that sounds best and then hope that the people working for him/her do a good job. Sometimes they don't, but then again other times they'll surpass what you would have done if you tried to handle it all yourself.

And, besides, if I was worrying about these things I'd never get the next book done!

8:50 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Thanks for taking the time to respond, David -- that's been one of my longest-standing publishing world questions since I got hooked on audiobooks about 8 years ago.

12:02 PM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...


No problem. I can't claim that my experience is representative, but I'm pretty sure other authors have similar experiences.

Really, with 3 out of 4 books having audio versions, I'm doing better in that area than many. Even so, very little of the power is in my hands. Of course, that might be a good think in many ways...

5:11 PM  

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