Friends, Readers, Fans–Lend Me Your Ears!

Earlier in the year I blogged about my determination to start working toward creating audiobooks of one or the other of my series. Judging by the feedback, there was a very slight preference for starting with the Two Monarchies Sequence over the Shards of a Broken Sword series; and I was fully determined to start with Spindle.

I say ‘was’, because after some deliberation and…well, cost-counting, I came to the conclusion that at this stage I can probably only afford to start with the shorter works. Which means that it’s to be Twelve Days of Faery, the first book in my Shards of a Broken Sword series. I very much want to produce my Two Monarchies Sequence as well, but I’m resigned to the fact that it will have to be a future endeavour.

All of this is by the way to say that I have been actively looking for audio narrators, have found three possibilities, and now desperately need your help in choosing which one of them I should use. In no particular order, here are the contestants:



Gordon Pelagi: this guy I picked for an audition simply because I loved the way his voice sounded for scifi, and I wanted to know how he’d sound reading my stuff, since I fully planned to call on him for my scifi series, A Time Traveller’s Best Friend. Only then his audition for Twelve Days was flamin’ amazing, even to my audiobook-deaf ears. The only slight quibble I have is that his Markon sounds too old–entirely my fault, since although I mentioned Markon’s approximate age, I didn’t mention that he is still quite adventurous.



Greg Barnett: A very solid reading, I thought. I was less enamoured of this one than the other two, but because I don’t listen to audiobooks, I really have no ear to say whether my instincts are correct or not. So I want you guys to hear this one, too.



Nick Howden-Steenstra: I’ll admit, when I heard this one (I heard it first), I thought Oh, well, this is obviously the one. I like his Althea less than I like Gordon Pelagi’s version, but his Markon is pretty spot on. I thought maybe the general narration other than direct voices was perhaps posher than I was expecting, so I wasn’t quite sure about that; but still, the biggest difficulty I’ve got in choosing is between this one and the Gordon Pelagi one.

So what do you guys think? Comment, email me–please help! I want to give Twelve Days the best chance I can give it!

18 thought on “Friends, Readers, Fans–Lend Me Your Ears!”

  1. R November 25, 2017 at 11:06 amEditReply

    Gordon Pelagi for sure…his reading sounds the most natural and ‘actor’-ly (if that makes any sense). He has a nice flow and reads conversationally. One thing I can’t stand in audio books is stilted, robotic reading. I much prefer his dramatic reading style and arch tone.

    • W.R.Gingell Post authorNovember 25, 2017 at 1:52 pmEditReply

      Thanks! I agree with your description of ‘arch’–that’s exactly what I thought! 😀

  2. KDJames November 25, 2017 at 3:56 pmEditReply

    Oh man, this is so HARD! I did like Pelagi, although his tone was a bit too “silky,” if that makes sense, especially for a scene where that didn’t seem to be a good fit. I loved the way Howden-Streenstra read dialog. He was better at effecting pauses the way I’d hear them in my head while reading, but the voices sounded somewhat the same in a few places (not ALL, by any means).

    But I’m not an audio listener (in addition to being an American who has a different ear for things), so take all that with a huge grain of salt. Maybe an entire salt lick. 🙂 It’s your story and you know how it sounds in YOUR head, so go with your gut about what sounds right to you.

    • W.R.Gingell Post authorNovember 26, 2017 at 12:22 pmEditReply

      SO hard! This is why I opened it up to readers, because I just don’t know! I was so sure that the Howden-Steenstra one was perfect until I listened to the Pelagi one, and then I was shaken… And I haven’t been able to make up my mind since…

      Thanks for the input!

  3. AJ November 26, 2017 at 11:50 amEditReply

    Oooh, tricky! I like Nick Howden-Steenstra best. I found the Pelagi one a bit too over-the-top for the scene content – good for a dramatic scene but don’t know if I could handle that sort of reading for a whole book! I found Greg Barnett more same-y to listen to than the others. But I am only one opinion, and I suspect audio is quite subjective!

    • W.R.Gingell Post authorNovember 26, 2017 at 12:23 pmEditReply

      It really is tricky! And there have been lots of great comments. Mind you, they all have the same feeling as I had–evenly divided between the first and the last, so… 😀

  4. Bebe Barry November 29, 2017 at 3:22 amEditReply

    Nick Howden Steenstra definitely for me, no question – really makes the book come to life and would love to hear him do the whole thing!

    • W.R.Gingell Post authorNovember 29, 2017 at 8:55 amEditReply

      Thank you so much for the input! =)

  5. Axis November 29, 2017 at 3:32 amEditReply

    I like the Howden-Seenstra reading best! I feel like he has a lovely, unaffected delivery, and the dialogue felt very natural with great pacing. Pelagi’s delivery was also good, but felt a little overwrought to me. It might come down to personal preference, but I tend to prefer my audio books to be read clearly but not be overly-acted, if that makes sense. That seems to allow me some of the freedom of interpretation I have when I’m reading to myself, rather than imposing the audio book reader’s perspective on the text too much. All of them were great, though, and I’m excited to hear the finished product!

    • W.R.Gingell Post authorNovember 29, 2017 at 8:57 amEditReply

      That was the first thing I noticed about his style–the beautifully unaffected delivery of the regular prose. Thank you so much for weighing in–I’m really excited to hear the final product, too!

  6. Jack rogers November 29, 2017 at 5:04 amEditReply

    After the first couple of lines I definitely thought Nick Howden Steenstra was best.

    • W.R.Gingell Post authorNovember 29, 2017 at 8:57 amEditReply

      Thank you so much! =) I was very much impressed by him also =)

  7. Jaki December 1, 2017 at 12:06 amEditReply

    I really liked Gordon Pelagi! For some reason, as he started to speak, I began to smile. LOL. Something about his voice really stuck with me. I also think he’d be brilliant with any snarky stuff. 😀 😀

    I quite liked Greg Barnett too – I felt he had a good “clean” delivery – if that makes sense? Although I also felt it went a bit quick.

    Also liked Nick Howden- Steenstra. (I’m not really much help, am I?)

    I sympathise with your plight – I too would have trouble choosing between them all. Barnett’s was, like I said, a good clean delivery – very easy to understand, well spoken. Pelagi makes me think his delivery would suit a comedic book, something with snark and over the top dialogue. And I think Pelagi would be PERFECT for a “Time Traveller’s Best Friend”.

    For “Twelve Days…” I can’t make up my mind between Howden-Steenstra and Barnett tho. If Barnett has a “weak” point, it’s probably the dialogue. I loved his voice reading, but felt the dialogue was a bit tricky to distinguish between characters. H-S’s voice seemed a bit….mellow? Weaker? I can’t put my finger on what the feeling is. Any way you could meld their voices together? *laughs*

    • W.R.Gingell Post authorDecember 2, 2017 at 3:30 pmEditReply

      Thanks for the input, Jaki =) I had the same response to Pelagi’s reading–and the same thought. I think he’ll be absolutely perfect for Time Traveller’s Best Friend. I’ll be hopefully starting audio on those next year (providing sales stay steady–or better yet, grow 😀 ) so I can’t wait to see how that sounds. They’re a tricky series to do as audio given the episodic nature of them, not to mention the chaotic timeline, so it will be very cool to see how they turn out…

  8. Miguel December 1, 2017 at 8:24 amEditReply

    I would go with Nick Howden Steenstra. His recording is so fantastically nuanced, because he manages to use pauses and pronounciations so deliberately!

    • W.R.Gingell Post authorDecember 2, 2017 at 3:27 pmEditReply

      Thanks! I really did think he did well with the pauses and timing =)

  9. Sue Manning January 1, 2018 at 12:57 pmEditReply

    I prefer Howden Steenstra; I find Pelagi terribly overdone, which is not so noticeable in a short piece but I think would make me crazy if it went on for a book. Howden Steenstra was the easiest to understand in the narrative parts, not crazy about Althea’s voice though, as you say. I really don’t mind Barnett, actually. The voice you want for an entire book is one that is not noticeably… well, anything, really. Otherwise it starts to grate and you think more about that than the writing.

    • W.R.Gingell Post authorJanuary 1, 2018 at 3:27 pmEditReply

      Thanks so much! =)

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