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The Narrator’s Voice by Daniel Vimont.

In this week’s exciting Narrator’s Voice, Daniel Vimont tells us all abut his Kickstarter programme…I, for one, am very interested in this, not only because I am hoping that Daniel does a children’s book classic series, but because I want to do one of these myself…Take a look. See what you think and whether you want to get involved. Personally, I think this is a great idea. The link is at the end of his post. I’m afraid WordPress doesn’t like the embed coding, so won’t show the video here, but the project is only one click away! Good luck, Daniel.

THE CHALLENGES OF AUDIOBOOK NARRATION, PART 3: SIMPLY GETTING STARTED

Let me tell you the story of how I began … with nothing in my pockets but a jack-knife and a button.” — Robert Graves.

It was one of my favorite times of the school day: the hour when we would sit on the carpet gathered around my second-grade teacher, as she sat in her chair and read a few chapters of a book to us, in a captivating voice that never failed to completely enchant me.

Even though I had devoured the entire book in one sitting the charlieprevious night, after my teacher had lent it to me to take home, I still passionately looked forward to hearing *her* read it to us. And she did *not* disappoint — we were all enraptured by her reading of the opening chapters of Roald Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”. If I recall correctly, she was about midway through the second chapter, when a most *annoying* interruption came!

An emissary from the school’s office barged in, insisting that my teacher come to the office that very instant to tend to some bureaucratic humdrummery that ABSOLUTELY COULD NOT WAIT! As it became clear to my teacher that she could not ignore this edict, a thought appeared to come to her, which she then acted upon with cool certainty. As she stood up and took a step away from her chair, she pointed to it and beckoned me to take her place. She then handed me the open book, pointed to a specific spot on the page, and said simply, “Start here.” And then, she walked out.

Someone had raised the curtain on my life and said, “begin”. And so I began.

Having absolutely no time to think anything through, I knew, above all else, that I could not let my classmates down. I had already been on this fantastic ride: been there with Charlie as he miraculously stumbled upon the last golden ticket, watched in amazement as Augustus Gloop zoomed up the pipe, sailed with the Oompa Loompas up the river of chocolate and beyond! I had been there, and was now tasked with revealing this wondrous world to the others seated before me. There was nothing to do but the doing of it. So do it, I did!

It was, in a word, glorious. In a few *more* words — I did not disappoint (neither myself nor my classmates). A rather animated child by nature (who was still several years away from learning the adolescent truth that it was “not cool” to be so outgoing), I let the lid come off, and made my voice do whatever was required to fully communicate the roller-coaster of urgencies, joys, horrors, and wonders that were magically contained on the pages in front of me.

When my teacher returned a few minutes later, she (being a sensible and sensitive individual) did not interrupt the proceedings, but stood at the back and respectfully allowed me to keep going for the rest of the hour. And the next day at story hour, still I kept going. To my teacher’s credit, in subsequent days she let some other volunteers in the room take their turn at the helm. But that seat of honor, the reading seat, had clearly become *my* place. I owned it, and it owned me.

Since then, throughout my life, there have been countless opportunities for me to fulfill this fundamental calling — to be a storyteller. Perhaps I’ll have appropriate chances in future blog postings to relate some of those to you. But for now, let me fast-forward to the present, to the storytelling project that is my professional focus of the moment.

I am in the midst of putting together the third installment in my “Classic Tales” series of audiobooks: CLASSIC TALES OF HOPE AND COURAGE. But I’m sure at this point you’ve had quite enough of my writing, so no more tedious text. Instead, here is a video to give you a feel for the upcoming audiobook.

You may notice that it’s not just a stand-alone video — it’s couched within a *Kickstarter* project! I’m experimenting with using Kickstarter as a way to “pre-sell” my audiobook productions, which will allow me to ramp up production of more “Classic Tales” audiobooks (next in the queue — Classic Tales of Romance and Classic Tales for Children). Please click on through to the Kickstarter project HERE and become involved in whatever way works for you!

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About Dr Niamh

When I was a little girl (a very, very long time ago), I used to love learning new, really big words like ‘discombobulate’. As I grew, my love of words grew too, until I loved them so much, I could not stop writing them down. One day, as I was scribbling a particular word, a very peculiar thing happened. The word shouted at me, “Stop! Don’t put me there!” As you can imagine, I was shocked and nearly fell off my chair. When I recovered somewhat, I said to the word, “Could you stop shouting, please? I am not used to it.” Can you guess what happened next? No! I thought not. The word said, “I might be small, but I will misbehave if you do not use me properly. I will not tell the story you would like me to tell. I will say something entirely different!” I dropped my pen. I hoped that by dropping my pen, the word would stop talking. Alas! It did not. It carried on chitterchobbling, even after the ink had dried. I was in a pickle. I could not allow my words to run away with my story, now could I? I don’t know about you, but when this sort of thing happens, there is only one thing left to do if you prefer not to spend your time arguing. “Very well,” said I. “I will do as you ask if you will just be quiet and allow me to concentrate.” Since that day, I have been paying special attention to every word I invite into my stories. After all, a story should say exactly what it means to say and not be led astray. With love from Dr. Niamh, Ph.D in Learning Through The Imagination and Founder of Dr Niamh Children's Books. www.drniamh.co.uk

5 comments on “The Narrator’s Voice by Daniel Vimont.

  1. scillagrace
    February 7, 2014

    My father was a project director for an company that made teaching aids. At the age of 10, I got to do voice parts for a script to accompany arithmetic story problems that would be part of a self-test math cassette. It was my first paid work!

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      February 7, 2014

      Great stuff, Priscilla. Do you still do voice-overs?

      Like

      • scillagrace
        February 7, 2014

        That was the only time…unless you count recording all the messages on the phone system at the children’s theater company where I worked for 7 years.

        Like

  2. thiskidreviewsbooks
    February 9, 2014

    I agree – I love to read aloud to classes. 🙂

    Like

    • Daniel Vimont
      February 10, 2014

      Yep — that’s about as good as it gets!!

      Like

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