I put Mesozoic up for audition with a view to it being turned into an audiobook. A narrator called Noah gave it a go and I have to admit that he submitted one of the best auditions that I have heard in a long time. The standard procedure is to give three pieces from the book that contrast, so as to give the narrator a chance to show their versatility. To be honest, most applicants use exactly the same voice no matter what the scene, which can be disappointing. I suppose it depends on the story as well, but I like to hear a little suggestion in the narrator’s voice that they are reacting to what they are reading.
Mesozoic is a thriller. It starts off relatively slowly, as most do in this genre, but builds in pace and tension as the story develops. The last few chapters race through at a breathless pace. Clearly, a voice that fails to capture this movement in the plot is going to seem underwhelming. Noah read all three pieces as if he was fully entranced by the story. That is exactly what I wanted. Mesozoic is fun. It is an adventure in the age of the dinosaurs. It does discuss what a future civilisation might be like after a near extinction event destroys the one that we know but this puts the presence of the scientists in the Triassic Period into context. Once they are forced to trek across the prehistoric landscape the action really begins. There is also some humour involved. I think humour is important. That does not mean that I wrote a comedy, I did not, but humour is frequently present in my life, so it seeps into my writing as well.
In preparation for agreeing the contract with Noah I have been busy reviewing the manuscript and correcting the several mistakes that I discovered in the process. I have also put together a phonetic guide for the pronunciation of dinosaur names and other technical jargon, there is some science in this book as well. Finally, I have drafted a brief guide to the characters. I thought that this might be useful so that the narrator has an idea when to change tone between a man of fifty and a man in his early twenties.
I have used text to speech to listen to the book previously, and I have always thought that it would make for a very entertaining audiobook. Now that I have someone to read it who seems capable of capturing the excitement and the energy that I tried to instil into my writing then I am looking even more eagerly to the final outcome.