When an author gets a chance to read his or her book aloud to the public, it’s a wonderful yet frightening feeling.
It's wonderful because an author is always excited for opportunities to create greater awareness for his or her fabulous creations.
It's frightening because the author immediately begins to wonder if he or she is up to the task of "acting out" the parts of different characters in the selection. They wonder if they should just go for neutral voice, or if they should try to impart accent, attitude, and pitch changes between characters. If done correctly, doing the later really adds a lot of depth to the reading. If done poorly . . . well, who really wants to sit through a poorly executed southern accent the author thought might be just the thing for the villain? Maybe you do, but I don’t want to be the reader realizing I’ve entered fail-land.
I usually try for some sort of compromise in-between.
Tomorrow you'll have the opportunity to hear Richard Baker and Erin Evans read from their respective novels (Avenger and God Catcher) at the University Bookstore at 7 pm in Seattle (4326 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105). If you show up, as I plan to, you can find out where along the spectrum of acting and reading Rich and Erin decided to come down. I'm hoping acting!
As it turns out, I’ll also be giving a reading tomorrow from Key of Stars (Abolethic Sovereignty Book 3) at Wizards, but this one won’t be public until the recording is turned into a free audible file that will eventually be available for download on the Wizards web site. Once it’s up, you’ll learn how I decided to play the voices of a scribe, a wintry eladrin, and an archfey called the Lord of Bats.
If you’re very lucky (or unlucky), perhaps you’ll get to hear me trot out my southern accent when I read all the Lord of Bats’ parts.