When DIVIDED LOYALTIES was released this summer, my father sent copies to friends and relatives all over the country. Seeing the pride in Dad’s face was a thrill I hadn’t expected.
The trouble is, Dad can’t read my book. He’s literate, of course, well-educated and well-read. But macular degeneration has robbed him of enough eyesight that he can’t read the things we all take for granted, including novels. He reads, all right. He must go through a dozen audio books a week. And he reads everything from history, economics and politics to biography and memoirs to thrillers, mysteries and classics.
But Dad hasn’t read my book. Yet. So I’ve been working to fix that. I had hoped my publisher would have an audio book made (and I lobbied for it) — but that hasn’t happened. So I am recording it myself.
One chapter at a time. Reading every word (wishing sometimes I could edit what’s already been written) and then editing each chapter in a Mac program called Garage Band. It’s grueling. But I think it will be worth it. I’ve read the words as I thought they should sound even if I can’t begin to mimic the Irish brogue I think Maureen and her family would have or give Ernestine the matter-of-fact monotone I envisioned.
Truth be told, I would have loved Meryl Streep to record my book. She has such a way with accents and expression and her voice is beautiful. I might have preferred a younger voice, though. Ann Hathaway or Saoirse Ronan, perhaps. I love the former’s clear, distinct diction but I like the young Irish lilt to Ronan’s voice.
But my Dad is stuck with my voice. I’ve got a distinct Baltimore accent and a tendency to stumble over words. But it will be familiar, at least.
In other words, it’s an imperfect audio recording. But it’s created out of love for my greatest fan.
I hope it will be done in time for Christmas. I’m wrapping up whatever is done and giving it to Dad that day.
Perhaps you know someone who would like an audio version of my Civil War story? I’m going to make copies myself and would be happy to produce extras. I don’t have my PayPal Account fully functional yet, nor do I know how much they will cost. I’m figuring with the cost of postage and the price of CDs, about $10.
Would you like one? Or two? Drop me a line at maryktilghman (at) gmail.com. Once the project is finished, I’ll notify you with all the particulars. I might even have a few ready for Christmas. Maybe.
Oh and don’t tell my Dad. It’s a surprise.