Neil Gaiman Is My Co-Pilot

Neil GaimanOkay, I’ve never been one of those hardcore Gaiman fanboys* that you see following him with blind, whole-body, fervor on twitter but I sure do have a whole lot of respect and admiration for what he’s accomplished in his life – and mine. Beginning with The Sandman series oh so long ago, Gaiman seems unable to be unsuccessful at whatever it is he does. Googlify his name and you will find that he has won so many major awards, some of them more than once, that if my mom had seen my face screw up in shock and awe after first seeing the significantly long list she would have warned me immediately that if I keep making that face someday it’s gonna stay that way.

Point being: the dude is pretty awesome.

And we can add one more awesome point to his long list of awesome points: Recently I downloaded the audiobook version of his short fiction collection Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances to one of my favoritest apps, Overdrive. And of course I find that the book is read by none other than The Man himself. And of course I find that I’ll be both god and buddha damned if he also isn’t one of the best god and buddha damned “voice performers” I have ever heard. Sheesh – what a wonderful voice he has to listen to.



I mention all of this more than slightly awkward author/guy crush worship thing of mine only because I too am now in the audiobook recording business. For, as I have mentioned here before, I am trying (key word: trying) to record a “performance” of my novel The Sea Trials of an Unfortunate Sailor.

It is very hard, this recording stuff – you know, with the intimidating microphones, and the confusing software, and with the dogs constantly barking in the background…

But the hardest part of all is coming to the realization that I don’t have the greatest of reading voices, especially since the book is narrated from the point of view of an insecure eighteen-year-old whom I would have to guess came late to the puberty game. So me trying to read in a voice that might pass as even barely authentic to the story has been both very hilarious when hearing it during playback and even more discouraging.

So far I have managed to record an introduction to the book, as well as all the novel’s front matter whatnots that include the dedication and acknowledgment (and which have been uploaded to my app). But those I was able to read in my own voice, which may not be the most pleasant to listen to but at least I don’t have to contort my diaphragm around my voice box in order to speak with it.

So yeah, I’m still working on finding (rediscovering?) that insecure eighteen-year-old voice of mine…

It’s a tough gig, but I shan’t give up for I have a sure-fire strategy for voice recording accomplishment and success:

Each time I run into a rough spot while recording I’ll simply stop, take a deep breath, look upward to the sky in humility and veneration and ask to the Literary Gods On High…

What would Jesus Neil do?

*non-gender specific



22 Replies to “Neil Gaiman Is My Co-Pilot”

  1. Neil Gaiman is definitely a favorite of mine, too. I’ve downloaded a few audios of his from Overdrive. Neverwhere and The Ocean at the End of the Lane…both were read by him as well. I was very surprised at this and he does have an excellent reading voice.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Isn’t Neil Gaiman the author of Stardust? I can’t comment on the audio books but might try them – sounds good. Also I have no tips on voice recording… I remember my horror at hearing my own dulcet tones recorded as a teenager (as we all do) – is that what I sound like!? I knew my radio days were over before they began! But good luck!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I adore Neil Gaiman’s reading voice! I listened to his novella “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” via OverDrive recently and really enjoyed the experience! You will find your confidence in this new endeavor!


  4. Well, sure I could but what fun would that be? I do all this out – books, blogging, social media – of enjoyment (mostly); certainly not because there is a huge call for me to do it or because I am making loads of money from it. I know my post sounds whiny and self-deprecating but that’s written (mostly and hopefully) for humors sake. One thing I love most about all of this – books, blogging, etc.) is the discovery process. I dig learning new things and having to buy new toys (such as microphones and whatnot) to support what’s being discovered. But you are certainly correct in saying that, if I were to hire someone more appropriate for the task, the result would be more authentic and pleasing to the ear. :)



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