Audio books concept with old books and headphones over wooden background Health / Kathy's News / Lifestyle

“It’s like I can hear your voice in my head”, a friend of mine said, as she read my books. I would of course immediately apologize, but she insisted that hearing the words in my own voice helped her to understand the point I was making. I thought she might have just be been polite. But when my literary agent called and asked by if I were interested in having my books recorded and listed on Audible, I was naturally excited about it. And I kind of presumed that I would be the one to read and record them. However, when I asked about how and where the narration would take place, there was an awkward silence. “Would you be prepared to audition for the role?”. Audition for the part of me? I hoped I had what it would take. So, I agreed to the audition. Surprisingly, and to my relief I got the job. I’m sure Morgan Freeman was hugely disappointed not to have had the chance.

I wasn’t fully prepared for that first day in studio. Sure, I’ve had to read teleprompters and have given prepared speeches to hundreds of people in a room and been on countless radio and television programs. But when I sat down to record an audio version of one of my own books, it was a different story. Actually, it was the same story and that was kind of odd. I’ve written and have had published six books, with the first one that came out about 12 years ago. I was being asked to record three of them: “Journey to the Darkside, Supermom Goes Home” (published 2007), “Shut Up and Eat! Tales of chicken, children and chardonnay” (published 2010) and I Am So the Boss of You, An 8 Step Guide to Giving Your Family the “Business”” (published 2013). A book’s publishing date is the date it is released to the public, but the writing of the book normally takes place at least a year before, at least in my case. Accordingly, these books were written a fair time ago, as far as I was concerned. My children, my writing career, and hopefully my writing style had changed and grown.

Any writer will tell you that they never really finish writing a book, they eventually just have to turn it in. As these three books had been written years’ prior, I was more than a little surprised to discover that I really wanted to keep editing myself, changing and adding and deleting words, as I read. It is really hard to read your own work aloud and not be able to make changes. I was also reading it aloud to the audience of one sound technician, which had its own challenges. He was a really nice guy…but he was in his 20’s, and I was reading parenting humour books out loud to him. I’m not sure he got my humour.

Next time I’m requesting a laugh track so at least he will know where I meant to be funny.

I also have many footnotes in my book. Usually I’m commenting on something I’ve already written, or in this case, spoken. For example, I might write “My teenagers think I’m quite a cool mom.[1]” (See actual footnote below.) Was I supposed to read the footnote part in a “footnote voice”? What in fact is a footnote voice? I ended up reading them as a bit of a sarcastic barb directed at myself.[2]

As I worked through three of my books, it gave me the chance to reflect on my world as it was during the time of writing. I realized how lucky I was to have this particular experience, because any parent will tell you it’s hard to remember what type of parent you were years ago, versus today. And I’m hopeful that the books help parents as they go through the stages as I did, when I did. And that they’ll forgive the editing that didn’t and couldn’t happen. It would be kind of nice to have the ability to edit some of my parenting choices as well.

Audible.ca launched in Canada on September 13, 2017. Visit www.audible.ca for more information.

[1] Not really. Not at all. Just testing to see if they will read my book.

[2] This is what having teenager is for. Do you see where I’m going with this?


Kathy Buckworth is a writer, personality and host who lives in Toronto, Canada. She is a major press contributor, the author of 6 books, and is an international travel writer.

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