• Robert Daws

An excellent face for audiobooks


A good book, a quality mic and a cuppa

May it never be said that I rush things. Eight years after writing my first Sullivan and Broderick murder investigation, I have finally turned the novella into an audiobook. Over these years, I've been approached about creating audiobooks on several occasions. The assumption always being, that as an actor, I would wish to narrate them myself. I understood that this would make sense, but did not commit and even suggested that it might be better to cast another ‘voice’ for narration.


Why the hesitation? I can only venture a couple of possibilities. Being the sole narrator for an audiobook is an intimidating thing. You wish to do the author, the story and its characters justice. It is a huge pressure, and one that is in no way lessened when the book in question is a novel you’ve written yourself. In fact, it may be worse for the author/narrator, because the impulse for self-criticism and the desire to change whole sections of plot and character development present themselves with alarming regularity during the process. My suspicion of this dilemma may very well have been one of the reasons I put the creation of the audiobook off for so long.


Added to this, is the technical process itself. It requires specific creative skills and technical abilities that some actors – myself, at one time, included – may take for granted as being well within their range of talents. I now realise that those talented artistes, regularly employed to record audiobooks, have all mastered a very particular skill-set. This includes – among several others - disciplined preparation, vocal agility and creativity, plus the enormous stamina needed to concentrate for long hours in confined areas with very few breaks. We all know how long it can take to read a book from cover to cover. Narrating that same book takes every bit as long and then some. I have nothing but admiration for those of my fellow actors who so impressively move from narrating War and Peace

to Mrs Dalloway to The Thursday Murder Club, before heading off for a quick lunch at Pret A

Manger and then returning to the studio for a bit of jolly old Austen in the afternoon. Respect!


So, the principle recording of The Rock has been completed, and I'm both excited and utterly

knackered. As a novella, it is shorter than many audiobook recordings but indeed long enough for me to learn a great deal about my writing and the world of audio entertainment. The Rock is the first in the series of Sullivan and Broderick murder mysteries, and revisiting it as a narrator was a happy and rewarding experience. I very much hope you enjoy entering the world of murder and intrigue on the Rock and meeting the many characters that I’ve become so close to since writing this first book. It’s been fun.


Happy listening.



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