Second Episode Syndrome

5 Jul

Eddie RobsonEddie Robson has written for sketch shows including That Mitchell And Webb Sound, Small Scenes and Look Away Now, and several episodes of Doctor Who for Radio 4 Extra. He has also written comics, short stories and books including Film Noir and The Art Of Sean Phillips.

There’s an old cliché about pop music that says you get ten years to write your first album and ten months to write your second, or something like that. That’s how I felt about Welcome To Our Village, Please Invade Carefully, my sitcom about a small Buckinghamshire village being invaded by aliens.

I first pitched the show in February 2010, at a meeting with my producer Ed Morrish in the café at the BBC’s Henry Wood House. (By the time we recorded the first series, the BBC Radio Comedy department had moved offices twice.) I hadn’t had a sitcom commissioned before. I had a document outlining the concept and the characters and the series. Ed zoned in on a particular scene and asked me to write it. In this scene, the main character, Katrina, is getting a lift away from the village where her parents live – she’s been staying with them for the weekend. Driving the car is her ex-boyfriend, Mike. The car has barely got going when it stops for no apparent reason. Then, a local toff wanders over and reveals he’s actually an alien warlord, the village is now under his control, and nobody will be allowed in or out.

Scene 1 - Page 1 Scene 1 - Page 2 Scene 1 - Page 3 Scene 1 - Page 4 Scene 1 - Page 5
(Click the images to see the pages of the script).

Ed wanted to see this particular scene to get a sense of the tone. You won’t find the scene anywhere in the episodes we recorded. I went on to write a script, which was what we call a ‘premise’ episode – an episode which shows the events which created the situation of this particular sitcom. It opened on a village which had not yet been invaded by aliens, and which Katrina was visiting for the weekend. When Katrina tried to leave, we had the scene in Mike’s car. And it ended with Katrina deciding to form a resistance movement against the alien menace. Then, I was asked to write an episode which was more of a normal one, to show how the series would work on a weekly basis.

Finally, I got a script commission, for which they wanted a whole new script. We’d decided by now that we didn’t need a premise episode. Also, there were too many characters – originally, Mike was going to be a regular, but he went. This rendered both the scripts I had redundant. But those two scripts laid much groundwork for the third, which I wrote, and rewrote, and rewrote, with notes from Ed, our script editor Arthur Mathews, and our execs. Then it got commissioned as a pilot, and I gave it a few more passes just to make sure. From first pitch to broadcast, I spent almost two and a half years working on that opening episode, what it would be, and what it needed to do.

Welcome To Our Village, Please Invade Carefully Then the series got commissioned, and I had six months to write another four episodes.

But the good thing about sitcoms is that you’re not starting from scratch with every episode. Each one you write uses up ideas and jokes, but it gives you a deeper knowledge of the characters and, hopefully, suggests more ideas and jokes. You reach a point where just putting two characters together in a particular room starts to generate something funny. The show practically writes itself! No, that’s a lie, I had to write it and it was quite hard work actually. But I think the series is definitely better than the pilot. And despite the lengthy journey, and losing poor old Mike along the way, it’s very much the show I wanted to write when I started out.

Buy our Welcome to our Village, Please Invade Carefully.

Great American Audiobooks

4 Jul

Great American AudiobooksAcross the USA, the 4th July brings parades, fireworks, barbeques and a“Star-Spangled Banner” all in celebration, commemorating the United States’ declaration of independence from Great Britain. On this side of the pond, it’s a great chance to appreciate some of the most important American literature, which is also available on audiobook. Here are six, which truly capture their times, the thoughts, struggles and culture of their characters and give us an insight into various parts of US modern history.

The Great Gatsby
Long before Baz Luhrmann’s visually epic remake, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote this classic, exploring themes of decadence, idealism, resistance to change, social upheaval, and excess in 1925. The focus of the story is the mysterious millionaire, Jay Gatsby, the man who has everything, but one thing will always be out of his reach…

Fitzgerald shows us the garish society of the Roaring Twenties, with obsessions of money, ambition, greed and the promise of new beginnings. But although the era of focus is almost 90 years ago, even to this day, the plot stands the test of time.

Buy The Great Gatsby audiobook

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
A familiar story in schools in the United States, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn may be one of those books that, over here, many know of, but not so many have actually read. But there’s no denying the fact that Mark Twain is one of the most fascinating writers of all time. Whether you’ve read his books, seen the adaptations in the cinema, or shared his inspirational quotes on Facebook, you’ll notice that he is, as a writer and humourist, timeless.

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is noted for the colourful descriptions of people and places along the Mississippi River as well as the often scathing look at racism.

Buy The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn audiobook

The Grapes of Wrath
Published in 1939, John Steinbeck’s award winning novel is set during the Great Depression and follows a poor family of tenant farmers. The Joad family are driven from their home in Oklahoma by drought, money troubles and changes in the financial and agricultural industries. They head to California for work, land and a future, only to discover thousands like them are also on the move.

By February 1940, 430,000 copies of this, the best-selling book of 1939 had been printed. It has been discussed, criticised and read countless times and is known for Steinbeck’s passionate depiction the struggles this poor family, much like many others went through.

Buy The Grapes of Wrath audiobook

Tales of the City
A little less heavy than the other choices, but no less relevant. Armistead Maupin’s wonderfully written series, set in San Francisco gives us a realistic taste of the city’s culture, people and lifestyles.  The story follows Mary Ann Singleton, a young secretary, fresh out of Cleveland, as she tumbles into a brave new world of laundromat Lotharios, pot-growing landladies, cut-throat debutantes, and Jockey Shorts dance contests.

Buy Tales of the City audiobook

Ethan Frome
This is one of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edith Wharton’s most powerful stories. It follows Ethan Frome as he scrapes a living from his woodlot and lives in an unhappy marriage with his hypochondriac wife, Zeena. The arrival of his wife’s cousin, Mattie brings a ray of light into his life, leading to him falling in love with her, but stifling conventions of the time determine their fate.

One of the most fascinating elements of this is that themes of this story mirrored real events in the life of the author.

Buy Ethan Frome audiobook

Fahrenheit 451
Written in 1951, Fahrenheit 451 tells a story, set in a dystopian future. The protagonist, Guy Montag is a fireman, whose job is to burn books, which are outlawed, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. Unhappy in his marriage and shocked by a sequence of events, Montag fights back against the status quo, but the Mechanical Hound of the Fire Department, armed with a lethal hypodermic, escorted by helicopters, is ready to track down those dissidents who defy society to preserve and read books.

Written by Ray Bradbury in the 1950s because of his concerns at the time, the classic novel of a post-literate future describes world that he thought might become real decades later.  This stands alongside Orwell’s ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ and Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’ as a visionary account of Western civilization’s enslavement by conformity.

Buy Fahrenheit 451 audiobook

What is your favourite American novel?

About ‘Undone’

24 Jun

Ben Moor wrote the sci-fi series Undone, which is available to download from AudioGO.

Ben MoorWriters love one thing more than anything in the world. More than the first coffee of the morning (which I have next to me here by the way, and I really like it a lot, mmm coffee), more than finishing a draft and hitting ‘send’, more than receiving a nice payment for royalties in Sweden or Belize, more than reading a mediocre review of a friend’s work; more than any of those things, what they love the most is being asked the question “where do you get your ideas from?”

Undone was sort of my answer to that question.

I’ve always loved sci-fi books about parallel universes and alternate histories – the concept that the world could be a little different somehow is what drives all cool imaginative work. And there’s something very exciting about coming to a new place and making your own discoveries. I didn’t grow up in London, so, like for most of us provincials, a trip to the big city as a kid was like a visit to a new world. But when you choose to make it your home and you have to deal with the odd and extraordinary, the new sounds and possibilities it offers, and the people, and the ideas, well you have to accept it and adapt. Unless your ideas can shape it the way you want it.

Edna Turner arrives to work on a listings magazine, goes out to see bands, art shows and is generally interested in all London offers. At first she doesn’t feel like a superheroine, she hasn’t been chosen for anything, she’s not got a zaggy scar on her forehead. But over the course of three series she discovers how the strangeness of the big city is determined by the ideas of its people. That just to one side of London – the other side of one of those gaps we’re always being told to mind – is its weirder sister, Undone. And her job is to make sure the weirdness is kept in check, too much means bad things.

Her adventures only get more complex though when she asks the question – if the bizarre city of Undone exists in that direction, what’s in the other direction? And that’s when things start to get really weird.

I don’t want to give away too much of the overall plot of the three series of Undone, as I’d hope part of the fun of it is keeping up with Edna’s journey and trying to work out what’s really going on. All the actors did brilliant jobs with their oddly shaped characters, and Colin Anderson and his crew made it sound amazing. There’s also some superneat music in the background.

But as a writer, what I loved most was messing around in the stories. It was fantastic to play with the idea that the adventures of our 20s, when we’re just making our way in this brilliant life, are all about discovering the potential within us and our world. And it gave me the answer to my favourite question.

“Weird ideas come from a version of me in a weirder parallel London,” I now say to people. It’s a strange answer, but strange is good.

Buy ‘Undone’ from AudioGO.

Behind ‘Rock and Doris and Elizabeth’

17 Jun

Guest Blogger: Tracy-Ann Oberman

Tracy-Ann Oberman is an actor, playwright, columnist and broadcaster. Her many theatre credits include the RSC and Royal National Theatre as well as countless appearances in TV drama and comedy. She is widely recognised for murdering her on screen husband Dirty Den in Eastenders and fighting the Cybermen in Dr Who. She has appeared in over 600 BBC radio plays, sketch shows & comedies and has written two radio plays for BBC R4 ‘Bette and Joan and Baby Jane‘ and ‘Rock and Doris and Elizabeth‘. Both are available to download on AudioGO. 

The Liberace biopic tells how a famous Hollywood entertainer went to extraordinary lengths to conceal his sexuality. My play Rock and Doris and Elizabeth shines the light on another world famous performer who could not ‘be himself”.

Rock Hudson was the ultimate Hollywood leading man. Handsome, suave, romantic and macho, he embodied the Dreamboat Hunk. Rock fought tooth and nail to reinvent himself from his humble beginnings as Roy Harold Scherer to become the 1950’s number one box office icon “Rock Hudson” as created by his predatory and manipulative agent Henry Wilson. Wilson controlled every aspect of Rock’s life, including a fake marriage to his own unsuspecting secretary. Wilson kept Hudson’s sexuality out of the papers by trading scandals on other clients. Rock could have gone to his death bed without the public ever knowing his secret.

After the success of my first radio play “Bette and Joan and Baby Jane” (also available on AudioGO) BBC R4 asked me to look for another Hollywood story. I’d always been fascinated by beefcake Hudson and virginal Doris Day and their dominance as America’s Sweethearts. On screen theirs was a magical, wholesome marriage, behind the scenes he was an active homosexual in fear of being caught out, she was trapped in a third hideous marriage mentally and physically abused. Her relationship with her son Terry was complicated and co-dependent, and this also added a piquancy to her hidden history. I then wondered if I added Rock’s great friendship with the sensual Elizabeth Taylor, did I have a ménage à trois with Rock  caught between his pure on-screen “wife” Doris, and his accepting, sensual “mistress”, Elizabeth. But whenever I mentioned Rock to anyone the response has was always: “Rock Hudson. The one who died of Aids?”

I vividly remember that moment in 1985 when Hudson’s Aids “scandal” hit the headlines. But what I didn’t realise was how closely Doris herself was tied up with this event. And subsequently Elizabeth too. Rock had agreed to appear on Day’s anodyne, pet-care show Doris Day’s Best Friends for the Christian Broadcast Network.

In the 1980s, Doris had retreated from Hollywood to devote herself to caring for the hundreds of rescue animals that she kept on her ranch in Carmel, California. She was loathe to go back to showbiz but was persuaded by her son, Terry Melcher, who needed to revitalise his own flagging career, to host a programme about pets. It was thought that a weekly human guest would help and that Hudson would be the perfect person to boost the opening show. Even though they hadn’t seen each other for nearly a decade, Hudson didn’t hesitate to say yes.

Rock and Doris and Elizabeth

Frances Barber, Jonathan Hyde and Tracy-Ann Oberman as Doris,Rock and Elizabeth. c.IanJohnsonPublicity

The press turned up in their droves .When Rock arrived, gaunt, covered in sarcomas and visibly shaking, there was a collective gasp. This was not Rock Hudson. Press speculation went into overdrive. Cancer? Anorexia? Heart disease? What was it?

The play then crystallised itself for me. Why? Why did Hudson, weeks away from death, bother to come on this little cable show when he could have died quietly, away from the public glare, his sexuality and secrets intact? I imagined the  tussle  happening between Elizabeth Taylor – whom I could see calling Hudson, offering him the love and support to come out and give a face to Aids – and Day, whom I imagined desperately trying to keep him back in that closet.

I don’t know if Taylor ever made these phone calls to Hudson but I believe it’s credible that she might have done. My Doris loved her Rock for the glorious romance that they created on screen; her real life was unbearable. In my play she says to him: “You were the greatest love I never had.” Hudson knew that by coming on the show, he was sending a visual message that he was not the myth that Hollywood created.

And Rock’s Aids revelation gave Taylor her future meaning in life as the leading AIDS activist. Rock and Doris unwittingly changed the nature of Hollywood. If it was all truly one big lie then nothing could ever be taken at face value again.

Liberace went to his death bed fiercely guarding his secrets. As a writer and actor who always tries to find truth in characters, I applaud my hero Rock Hudson for having the courage, at the end, to reveal who he really was.

Tracy-Ann Oberman

Buy ‘Rock and Doris and Elizabeth‘ from AudioGO

Dick Barton Live!

14 Jun Sunday, 16th June, special agent Dick Barton returned for a live recording. The show, which took place in Leicester’s Y Theatre, starred Tim Bentinck (David Archer in The Archers) and Terry Molloy (Mike Tucker in The Archers and Davros in Doctor Who).

The recording of the show will be available to download from our website later this year, and you can see some of our photos of the actors performing:

David Benson and Lisa Bowerman

David Benson and Lisa Bowerman

Tim Bentinck, Nick Scovell, Lisa Bowerman, David Benson and Terry Molloy in Dick Barton Special Agent Live!

Tim Bentinck, Nick Scovell, Lisa Bowerman, David Benson and Terry Molloy.

Snowey White and Dick Barton played by Terry Molloy and Tim Bentinck with Jock, played by Nick Scovell.

Snowey White and Dick Barton played by Terry Molloy and Tim Bentinck with Jock, played by Nick Scovell.

Barnaby Edwards (Zettner / Leroux / Gallere), Nick Scovell (Jock / Lunt), Terry Molloy (Snowey White) and Tim Bentinck (Dick Barton)

Barnaby Edwards (Zettner / Leroux / Gallere), Nick Scovell (Jock / Lunt), Terry Molloy (Snowey White) and Tim Bentinck (Dick Barton)

The full cast of Dick Barton Special Agent Live!

The full cast of Dick Barton Special Agent Live!

Lisa Bowerman, Tim Bentinck, Barnaby Edwards, Terry Molloy, Robert Smith and Nick Scovell at Dick Barton Live

Lisa Bowerman, Tim Bentinck, Barnaby Edwards, Terry Molloy, Rob Thrush and Nick Scovell

Browse our Dick Barton titles.

Picking voices for my favourite children’s stories

12 Jun

Over the last year I’ve been working on an exciting new project; commissioning a series called Famous Fiction.  Their common theme?  Abridged children’s classic tales read by well-known actors and stars.

This specially themed series was a joy to work on; taking me back to my childhood and the worlds that were opened as I heard these stories for the first time. Immediately we knew we had a special challenge ahead – introducing these well-loved stories to a new generation of children who might never have heard them before.  We had to capture not only the story, but also the tone and humour of the original book, some aspects of which I had forgotten. And what a treat it was to rediscover them!

Bill Nighy reads The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Famous Fiction) For instance, imagine my surprise when, after landing in Oz, Dorothy was given silver shoes in the book, and not the ruby ones invented by the film! I hadn’t remembered these subtle but significant differences between the book of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and the film, with the book offering so much more. Add to that mix Bill Nighy, the fantastic actor from hits such as Love Actually,  Pirates of the Caribbean and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and you have a the perfect combination for L. Frank Baum’s tale of Oz.

Similarly, the portrayal of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by the film actress Gemma Arterton (Clash of the Titans, ByzantiumPrince of Persia) is unforgettable, as she takes us down the rabbit hole with Alice and leads us to a tea party.  The mad-capped world she finds there is funny and packed with action and characters who stay with you for ever.  It’s no wonder this has remained a firm favourite through the years.

I was always riveted to the trials and tribulations of Black Beauty, and as a child, took to heart the message of the book that animals should always be treated with kindness.  While the story takes us through the life story of this kindly horse, the tone is always accessible and, in this particular recording, made all the more poignant by Being Human and His & Hers  actor Russell Tovey.

Jenna-Louise Coleman reads The Secret GardenFrances Hodgson Burnett’s book was always a particular favourite of mine, and I remember spending a lot of time outside in the garden after hearing it, in the hope that I too would find a key to a secret garden of my own.  Alas I never did, but on hearing the newest Doctor Who assistant, Jenna-Louise Coleman’s abridged reading of it, I wanted to get right back out there to see if I could now.  A trusty metal detector might come in use!

These first four Famous Fiction titles in the series are available now, and I have been looking forward to listening to these favourites again in long car journeys with the kids and at bedtime.  I hope you do too!

Alex Arlango, Commissioning Editor

Browse our Famous Fiction audiobooks

Bill Nighy reads The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Famous Fiction) Russell Tovey reads Black Beauty Jenna-Louise Coleman reads The Secret GardenGemma Arterton reads Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Adapting ’The Last Tycoon’

10 Jun

The Last TycoonLaurence Bowen is a BAFTA award winning film and TV producer who has run independent production company Feelgood Fiction for fifteen years. The Last Tycoon is his first radio drama.

The Last Tycoon is a story about the last years of Hollywood’s Golden Age, before the accountants took over, when one man could run a studio single handedly. It’s also a love story, a novel for all writers and an excoriating piece of autobiography from Fitzgerald which he died writing. You can almost sense his heart breaking as it unfolds.

It’s extraordinary how many people cherish it, not only for its prose, but for its ability to seduce and sour at the same time. Its Hollywood is Fitzgerald’s apple in the garden of Eden. One sweet bite and then all is lost.

It remained unfinished when Fitzgerald died of a heart attack (just like Irving Thalberg) in 1940. He was forty four.

He had written notes for how it might end but hadn’t had a chance to complete it or to re-write it.

But it still remains his masterpiece, for many a more personal and powerful work than The Great Gatsby. It’s unfinished but feels like the story has reached its emotional end, with a final chapter that has all the pathos of an ending.

In our adaptation, Bill Bryden (who also directs) adds just one more beat (taken from Fitzgerald’s notes) to conclude the story.

You’ll have to listen to it to discover what this is…and see if you can spot the connection to Game of Thrones and The Wire.

In 1937 Fitzgerald had moved to Hollywood in desperate need of money. The Great Gatsby and Tender Is The Night had made him a star but neither had sold well. Divorced, alcoholic, wounded by  a distinctly mixed critical response to his work,  Hollywood represented a way out, a new start. Sunshine, glamour, lucrative screenplays. A chance to repair his health.

And for a moment, it seemed to do just that. Well paid story commissions and screenplay work rolled in. But this was a Hollywood where writers could be paid a fortune one week and then ignored (for ever) the next. Where they were wooed and seduced, only to discover two other versions of their script were being written simultaneously in neighbouring lots. A Hollywood where writers were not the luminaries Fitzgerald had imagined, but the totos, the coal miners, the kitchen sweeps.

Fitzgerald had met the legendary studio head Irving Thalberg and was fascinated by him. A celebrated young prodigy, “the last of the princes”, but dying age thirty seven, he seemed impossibly glamorous. Transposed into the lead character of The Last Tycoon,   Fitzgerald made him the heartbeat of what was to be his last novel. And while writing it, picked at the scabs of a very different Hollywood that had begun to reveal itself to him during his new residency there.

Fitzgerald had come to Hollywood to put his fractured ego back together and ended up destroyed by it, arriving as a literary sensation, but reduced, he felt, to a hack. Just one more tiny cog in a huge global multi-million studio movie making machine.

This is what makes The Last Tycoon mesmerising and why we wanted to adapt it. It is a swan song but also a suicide note, those two opposites coiled into a portrait and love story that intoxicate and torture in equal measure.

Laurence Bowen, Producer.

You can buy The Last Tycoon from AudioGO.

One for the Dads

7 Jun

16th June is Father’s Day! Struggling to think of what to get your dad? We are here to give you a helping hand with making your selection. We asked the dads at AudioGO which audiobooks they love to listen to when they like to wind down.

Jan Paterson, Publishing Director:
Chowringhee ‘When I am on holiday or have a long drive, I really like to get into an unabridged book.  But over this weekend, what with thinking of things to do with the kids, and one thing and another, I will not get much time for listening, so I then chose to listen to short plays or comedy.  Earlier this week I met up with Roger Elsgood, who has produced a radio version of the Indian bestseller Chowringhee, which he recorded on location in Culcutta.  I am also looking forward to catching up on the latest instalment of The People’s Songs.’

Steve Jones, Audio Engineer:
‘Rather self-indulgently I’m listening to my own creation (I did the music) of ‘Wheels on The Bus Singalong in the car.  My 2 year old son loves it and there are loads of classic rhymes that he knows and sings already in nursery.’

Matt Edwards, Digital Marketing Manager:
You Only Live Twice‘I like to listen to anything by Douglas Reeman because they’re always very well read and have guns and explosions! I also loved all the Bond audiobooks because they were really different from the Bond you see in the movies. There is a stellar cast of narrators. Martin Jarvis was the best!’

Steve Borge, E-Commerce Manager:
I’m getting into Cabin Pressure because I saw it in the bestsellers chart and wondered what all the fuss was about. I was completely hooked! Hilarious performances, especially from Benedict Cumberbatch. I’m thinking of listening to the ‘John Finnemore Souvenir Programme’ next.

We’ve put all of our best ideas into our Father’s Day page, and you can save £3 when you spend over £10! Make sure you order by Wednesday 12th June so your CDs can be delivered in time for Sunday!

If you’re a dad what do you like to listen to? 

Laura Dockrill: The Art of Storytelling

4 Jun

Laura Dockrill is a performance poet, illustrator and author of Darcy Burdock, which is now out on audiobook.

Laura Dockrill reads Darcy BurdockSpeaking what you’ve written out loud is sometimes like talking to an old friend or like looking back over bad photographs of yourself ten years ago; Greasy fringe, ill-fitting baggy trousers and light blue eye shadow. When it’s not in those sometimes moments it is really what story making is made for, the art of telling.

I’ve always been a person that hasn’t enjoyed being told to shut up. I’m not very good at sitting on the perimeter of the world like a boring fence and allowing the weeds to use me as some kind of ladder. My mum is far too strong to raise me to do that. When I was younger one of my favourite things to do was to drink cups of tea and talk for hours with my first and oldest friend Siobhan about all the films and books we’d read but we wouldn’t recommend them; we would take turns to re-tell them, from start to finish, describing characters, re-enacting their behaviour, setting scenes, talking camera angles and costume. We would love to do that. It was something about listening to each other describe what we were seeing after it had soaked through our brains and rinsed out through our mouths. It added to the electricity of the story; after the marinade, building our own opinions and adding commentary. For us, it was much better than experiencing first hand.

Darcy Burdock Audiobook

I come from a family of chatterboxes and have been encouraged always to tell stories. My Dad always said he taught me the ‘embroidery of truth’ and that’s about weaving your own fabric to a tapestry of story, that’s what makes it special and how you can make a stamp of ownership of something. Sometimes my family and I can sit around wasting hours re-telling stories of things that have happened to us, on holidays or from our childhood. We’ve all added our own bits and chip in on the punch-lines, although we’ve been doing it for so long that all the truth in them has evaporated and they are just plain pools of lies! But they are our lies that we’ve all created together and that’s why we like them.

I wanted to read my own words on the audiobook because I write how I talk. I want the listener to feel like I am on the tube with them, right in their ear hole, in the gym annoying them or accompanying them to the dry cleaners or whatever but mostly because I want all walks of lives to know my work as it’s meant to be understood; I don’t want to leave anybody out, my work is intended for everybody and should be accessible.

Buy the audiobook of Darcy Burdock by Laura Dockrill from AudioGO.

Kerry Wilkinson – Jessica Daniel audiobooks

30 May

Kerry WilkinsonKerry Wilkinson is the author of the Jessica Daniel series.

For those of you who don’t know, AudioGO publish my Jessica Daniel series, read by the wonderful Becky Hindley. From next year, they will also be producing my young adult-fantasy series – the Silver Blackthorn trilogy.

In all of the things that have happened to me as a writer, working with the audio publishers is one of the most exciting, mainly because I’ve listened to audiobooks my entire life.

Depending on the way you look at it, I was either a “hyperactive” child or a “royal pain in the arse”. I go for the first option, my mother might tell you the second. Anyway, to help send me to sleep, I’d listen to audio tapes every night. Yes, TAPES. If you’re under thirty, you’ll have to do some Googling.

I never really grew out of that habit of listening to books. When I was a teenager, I used to do some agency work in my summer holidays. I worked in a factory packing yoghurt pots into boxes and I did night shifts in another place that produced sprinkler heads. I would go to the library twice a week, borrow as many audio tapes as I could get away with, then spend my shifts immersing myself in a world that wasn’t a production line.

For me to be a part of the AudioGO family is incredible. Yes, the MP3s are great – but there’s something fabulous about having the physical thing in my hands. I love the CDs (no tapes now!) and the packaging. It’s so strange to see my name printed on the type of thing I grew up listening to night after night.

The only strange thing for me is that I find my own audios almost impossible to listen to. It’s nothing at all to do with Becky (sorry!), simply that I remember writing the words. I can picture myself on the sofa, on trains, planes and numerous other places. It’s weird but it’s wonderful and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Kerry Wilkinson

Browse our audiobooks by Kerry Wilkinson.