The Hourglass Door by Lisa Mangum
Friday, March 13, 2009
Speak the word
A little shout-out to one of my favorite Queensrÿche songs —and certainly appropriate as today was my first recording session with Kenny Hodges for the audio version of The Hourglass Door. And it was so much fun! I had had a trial session back at the end of December and I was surprisingly nervous. Up until then, all the out-loud reading I’d done had been when I was a kid, reading to my mom while she made cookies, crocheted blankets, or hung wallpaper. (I’d also read aloud to my dog on more than one occasion. I bet I had the best-read pet on the block.) Anyway, Kenny had me read a couple different passages from the book and after an hour or so, I felt like had the hang of it.
Today, though, was a full four-hour reading session. I read just over a 100 pages, which, according to Kenny, is phenomenal for a novice reader. I’m not doing different character voices, so it’s just me and the story. It helped to imagine that I was just reading it to my mom, like I used to do when I was a kid. And I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised at how the story flowed along, how reading it aloud managed to make it feel fresh and new, even though I’d read the story a gazillon times before. For all those writers out there, I’d highly recommend sitting down and reading your work out loud to see how it sounds to your ear. (It’s also a great way to catch typos, by the way. At work, we ask our proofreaders to do it all the time.)
Since the ARCs are just making their way out into the world, I haven’t had a lot of feedback on the story from strangers yet. And so it was especially nice to read the Prologue and have Kenny pause and say, “Wow. That’s really good!” Personally, I think the Prologue is one of the best bits in the book and I’m especially proud of the fact that I wrote in a half-hour on the train home from work one day. See—the old adage is true, inspiration can strike anywhere, so you better be ready.
Reading my story out loud also made me think that’s what writing is all about—giving voice to your creativity and imagination, speaking out about whatever you want, saying important truths (sometimes in the guise of fiction).
As Geoff Tate and boys from Queensrÿche say, “Speak the word. The word is all of us.”