sunny, warm, temps 22
A spectacular early summer day. Hard to believe a week ago it was still snowing! And this morning, after breakfast at Hovey, Michael and I did one of our favorite things...we sat in the adirondack chairs on the lawn in the gardens, looking out at the lake, sipping coffee, reading the newspaper, and smelling lilac for the first time this year. Just a soft hint of lilac in the warm air.
But - I have a real treat for you today...Ralph Cosham does the US audio book versions of my series and has won all sorts of awards for his work - both on my books and lots of other books he tapes. Well, Ralph has agreed to guest blog. I asked if he'd mind and, gracious man that he is, he said he'd be happy to give it a go. Yesterday he sent it to me. Here is what Ralph Cosham wrote...
The moment I read the first few paragraphs of Still Life, I knew I was about to record something special. The scene, the characters, and the mood were established with the kind of skill and clarity that compels the reader to keep turning the page. (Another clue: as I continued to work, my wife would often sneak into the office to listen to me read – something she almost never does.)
Growing up in the austerity of post-World War Two England, books and the radio were my means of escape and the foundation of my love of language, reinforced and intensified by many years as a journalist and actor.
In my opinion, Louise Penny is a great mystery writer in the tradition of Ngaio Marsh and Josephine Tey, and much of the credit for whatever success I may have had in creating the audio versions of the Three Pines mysteries is due to Louise herself.
She created such vivid images in my mind that I feel that I know Three Pines and its inhabitants and I try to translate those images into an audio version that will give listeners the same level of enjoyment that her readers get. As for Gamache, he has become very special to me. To me, it is as though Roderick Alleyn and Inspector Maigret had a son: all British intellect and Gallic charm, with a dash of that understated (and often underestimated) Canadian competence.
The most frequently asked question I get when people find out I narrate audiobooks is whether I read the books in advance. I do not. There usually isn’t time. I will skip ahead a few pages to see if there are any words I need to look up for meaning or pronunciation, or to look for clues as to the origin of a new character. I’ve done this ever since I discovered, 10 pages after he was introduced, that a character’s “Scottish brogue became more pronounced!” What I try to do is create the feeling that the listener and I are discovering the book at the same time.
I am thrilled that I will be continuing to narrate the Three Pines mysteries, and I cannot wait to get my hands on the manuscript of Bury Your Dead.
Doesn't Ralph sound just wonderful? I'm looking forward to meeting him. Indeed, the publishers of the audio book are looking into organizing some events for the two of us, so we can share a stage and discuss what each of us does to bring the books and characters and settings alive. That would be great fun. I'll let you know if anything comes of that.
And, since this is such a lovely post, I've decided to leave it up for a couple of days - and put it in the June Newsletter.
Speak to you on Wednesday...though I'll be reading your comments, of course - as will Ralph, I believe.