Audio extravaganza!

I hope you will forgive another interruption to the regular Sunday blog. We’re just back from holiday, and the Lammas season has started, so I’m a very busy Pagan. And, in case you hadn’t realised, I am very, very excited about the wonderful deal my agent has just completed on my behalf with Audible, so I thought I’d use the blog today to bring you some details of that.

While we were in Cornwall, the Knight Agency contacted me to say that Deidre Knight had succeeded in placing no fewer than eleven of my FoxTales titles with Audible for production as audiobooks. I was absolutely blown away. I know that many, many of my readers love audiobooks, and just at present there’s no way I could have afforded to get the titles produced at my own expense. So this is a huge leap for me, and I’m very grateful indeed to Deidre.

Now, I don’t know when the new audiobooks will be released, but I will keep you posted with dates as soon as I have them. Next, I must tell you that although I will have some input into the choice of narrator, that input will be limited, and the books will be audio-produced in the US. So, for instance, I won’t be able to specify that I want a handsome merman with just a touch of a far-west Cornish accent (which might give you a clue to one of the titles Audible has bought :-D). If I am lucky, as with the Scrap Metal audiobook, I might get an American narrator who has a genuine talent for whatever British accent is appropriate to the story. I hope you’ll understand that the chances of finding a homegrown narrator with the right regional accent are minimal! Please be assured that I will guard these babies of mine as closely as is practicable, and let’s keep our fingers crossed that we end up with finished audio products which will go down well on both sides of the Atlantic.

So… drum roll… let me announce my upcoming audio titles! (I think some of you will be very pleased to see the books on this list.)

A Midwinter Prince and The Lost Prince

Last Line books 1 and 2

All Roads Lead To You

Half Moon Chambers

In Search Of Saints

Kestrel’s Chance

Marty And The Pilot

Priddy’s Tale

Wolf Hall

Wow. I still can’t quite believe it! No Tyack & Frayne just yet, but Gideon and Lee will definitely find their way into audio at some point in the future. So watch this space for news, and I’ll be sure to keep you posted!

 

Nichol and Cam to Patrice

Scrap Metal cover art final 72LG

Hello and welcome to the Sunday blog! I’ll be taking a break for the next couple of weeks, recharging my batteries in Cornwall, but meanwhile I hope you enjoy a visit to Arran and Scrap Metal, where Nichol and Cameron are answering a question for Patrice Vizzone. Patrice said…

I would like to meet and be neighbors with Nichol and Cam and eavesdrop on them as they read poetry from Harry’s books to each other. The question….how could they love each other more?

 

Cameron: Is dubhar thu ri teas.

Nichol: Good. Doo-ver, though, very soft, as if you were trying to chat up the vacuum cleaner. Is dubhar, like that. All right?

Cam: No domestic appliance could resist you. Can I try again?

Nichol: Yes. Take the whole verse this time… What are you laughing at?

Cam: You. Vairse. You sound more Scottish than David Tennant, you know.

Nichol: You’re no’ exactly the voice of the BBC yourself. How are you picking up a slight Lewis accent, by the way? Do I have to have words with the postman?

Cam: Poor Bill McCready? Hardly. Our Shona’s new farmhand’s been doing a lot of runs back and forth with the latest Leodhas lambs, mind you… Don’t you throw that at me, Nichol Seacliffe. They don’t sell those on eBay.

Nichol: No, indeed they do not. It’s a first edition Carmina Gadelica, signed by Carmichael himself. Heaven knows where Harry got it from, but I’m sure he’d break our agreement on the non-haunting rules if I broke the spine of it, even on your bonny face. Try the whole vairse, then, gugairneach comhachag.

Cam: Barn-owl chick. Harry used to call me that.

Nichol: He did. And he’d call you something worse if he thought you were going to sit here on his anniversary night and cry over him.

Cam: I won’t if you won’t. Um, Nichol?

Nichol: Yes?

Cam: Anni-vairse-ary…

Nichol: I swear to God, if this wasn’t a formal and solemn occasion… Read it, and mind you don’t sound like Shona’s new farmhand this time, dishy though he is.

Cam: Wait till I light the candles. It’s just starting to get dusk, and they look bloody lovely now we’ve started to get a bit of a polish on this grand old boat of a kitchen table.

Nichol: Aye, they do. Just the two of them, one at each end, and that and the firelight and the sunset…

Cam: With the windows open, and that sweet breeze off the sea coming through. Ah, he’d have loved it, wouldn’t he? A night like this.

Nichol: With all his stony old heart. Everyone will love it.

Cam: Who’s coming, then? To this formal and solemn occasion?

Nichol: Shona and Archie, of course, if poor Shona can walk beneath the weight of her expected ginger twins. All the farmhands, including the new one, to show you how much I care for his rippling muscles and his fancy sheep-shearing technique.

Cam: Harry’s cronies from the pub, it goes without saying.

Nichol: It does, though I wish they could come without going through all our single malt. They’re welcome to it, but they’ll all get wasted, and Harry’s dogs will spend the night out on the clifftops trying to round them up.

Cam: They’ll all have a grand time. Oh, I invited our neighbour, as well.

Nichol: We have a neighbour?

Cam: That we do. Shona has her first guest in the shoreside croft up towards Whiting Bay – an American lady, very nice indeed. I met her in the lanes coming home. She knew Harry’s story, so I asked her back for a cuppa and to join with us later. I think she’s outside at the moment, sitting on your mum’s bench.

Nichol: Well, that’s a good place to sit, especially at this time of year, with the dog-roses and honeysuckle around it.

Cam: Earra-dhris and uilleann.

Nichol: That’s right. Perfect. So, am I going to get to hear the rest of my carmen?

Cam: Your what?

Nichol: Latin – one carmen, two carmina. Carmina Gadelica, Songs of the Gaels. Like Òran an t-Samhraidh – the Song of Summer.

Cam: You know, between the Latin and the Gaelic, and the French and German and Italian I hear when you’re Skyping with your linguistics buddies overseas, I think I’ll have our wee island declared a new EU.

Nichol: Ah, like brave Alba will ever give up on the old one! Give me your hand, bonny owl-chick. Sing me your song. Is dubhar thu ri teas…

Cam: Is dubhar thu ri teas, is seasgar thu ri fuachd… Is eilean thu air muir, is cuisil thu air tir. Is fuaran thu am fasach…

Nichol: That was beautiful. Perfect.

Cam: Um… Nichol? I can smell pipe tobacco. Black Ox.

Nichol: The dogs are barking, too. Well, I can’t blame him for wanting to hear you, love. And it is his night.

Cam: You’d better translate it, then. For both of us.

Nichol: I will. But this was the first one of the Carmina I learned again by heart once you were here. That first summer. The meaning of it’s all for you. Is dubhar thu ri teas… A shade art thou in the heat, a shelter art though in the cold… An island art thou at sea, a fortress art thou on land. A well thou art in the desert… Och, leanabh! Here’s a handkerchief.

Cam: Sometimes, when I’m out feeding the sheep or struggling away with a new bit of scrap metal – when I’m alone, and I’ve only got my thoughts and memories of you to prove to myself you exist – I ask myself if there’s any way I could love you more than I already do.

Nichol: That’s weird. So do I.

Cam: Any answers?

Nichol: No. Only that I want all of both our lives to try.

 

Gideon and Lee to Toni!

covermaybe final

Good evening, and welcome to the Sunday blog. Many apologies again for my absence last week, but it’s now my pleasure to post in relation to Toni’s question. Toni said:-

I would love to talk with Lee and Gideon. I don’t think I could pick one or the other, since I love them both and I love them together. Not sure what I would ask them. Maybe just how they are, how they’re doing with all the changes in their lives, how Tamsyn is, what’s next for them.

 

Gideon: Hard to believe it’s been just over two years since we came down to Kelyndar. This time we decided – for some reason or other – can’t think why – to avoid the Golowan celebrations.

Lee: Maybe because we saw what Tamsie could do with torches in Penzance, and we didn’t want to let her loose with flaming barrels of tar.

Gideon: Oh, yeah. That might have been one of the reasons. Also, our Holly King and Oak King days are done. We’re sober, responsible citizens now. Family men, and all that.

Lee: Ah, that’ll be why I caught you up an apple tree when we went to visit the Lowen house on Morgan Hill the other day. Because you’re such a sober, responsible citizen.

Gideon, with dignity: No. Because they’ve always grown the best apples in the world up at Lowen, and it’s a Frayne family tradition to scrump ’em. Your face, though! You couldn’t look the estate agent in the eye after that.

Lee: Are you surprised? She’s apoplectic already because Dev Bowen’s executors are holding the price down. She said she should’ve been able to sell the place a dozen times over. But somehow all the offers she’s had so far have fallen through. I wonder why that is?

Gideon: You tell me, Mystic Meg! Dev Bowe said he wanted us to have it. We’d have to sell Tamsyn and a few organs to get it, though, even at knock-down price. And then it wants gutting and renovating… No, better stick to our flat, even if it is a bit cramped. The insurance rebuild is a very nice job. And besides, we live half our lives at the Drift farmhouse anyway.

Lee: You’re right. Things couldn’t be much better for us at the moment, Toni – thank you for asking. I’m hip-deep in a new series of Spirits of Cornwall, which I’m scripting in intervals of chasing Tamsyn and Isolde round the living room to retrieve whatever they just stole from my desk. Tamsie got the idea about not pulling the poor beast’s tail, but Isolde was only too happy to be used as a walking frame, and now they’re a dangerous tag-team. To be honest, Gid, I’m glad all the Southwest police restructuring’s kept you from starting your CID work. God help us when I can’t threaten her with wait till your dad gets home anymore.

Gideon: Well, she’ll probably be in university by the time they get themselves sorted out, so I wouldn’t worry. We brought her down to Kelyndar to visit Cosmic Ray and Kitto, Toni, and to sit out here on the veranda and look at the carved dragons on the pillars. Kitto’s a lot better now. He’s talking again, and he’s thinking about taking up one of his old summer jobs as a surf instructor. And… it sounds mean, but bringing Tamsyn into Ray’s shop was a bit of a test.

Lee: Yeah. It’s a treasure cave. Even I want to grab everything. So we reckoned, if she could stop herself from levitating the crystals and pulling all the mirrors and sparkly curtains off the walls, we’d be making progress. And Ray was kind enough to say he didn’t mind if she trashed the place.

Gideon: But she didn’t. She did really, really well. Tell you what – Ray’s a good guy. I’m not sure I know anybody else who’d be laid-back enough to let a toddler with psychokinetic powers into his shop.

Cosmic Ray, emerging from the shop and leaning on the balcony rail: Thanks, dude, but I can’t help but notice there’s a little dog floating through the air just by the creek there.

Gideon: Shit.

Lee: Swear box!

Gideon: I’ll owe it. How much now?

Lee: Fifty-seven quid, by my count. Tamsyn Elizabeth Tyack-Frayne, put that down now. No, not in the water – on the ground, and gently.

Gideon: To be fair to her, she’s always gentle. Oh dear – that feels like a bit of a setback, though.

Ray: Well, she’s on unfamiliar turf. Like, maybe she knows she can’t make little dogs float in Dark, but she doesn’t know the same applies in Kelyndar.

Lee: That actually makes some kind of sense. Ray, the one thing that doesn’t seem to strike you as odd is the fact that she can make little dogs float at all.

Ray: Oh, man. By comparison with some of the things I’ve seen, that’s nothing.

Gideon, getting up and lifting Tamsyn off Lee’s lap: What would you do if you weren’t living in the wild, weird Southwest, you unearthly monster child? What do we do when we see something we want, and it’s not within arm’s reach? What do we do if we want the little dog?

Tamsyn: WALK!

Lee: That’s right. Speaking of which, we’d better. Toni, Ray – it’s been lovely to see you. Give our best to Kitto and your kids. Gid, you’ll have to be village bobby for a while longer – someone will be grieving for their little floating dog…

 

We all hope you enjoyed that, Toni! Next week’s blog will be an interesting one. We’re off to beautiful Arran to meet Nichol and Cam, because Patrice Vizzone’s turn. Patrice said:-

I would like to meet and be neighbors with Nichol and Cam and eavesdrop on them as they read poetry from Harry’s books to each other. The question….how could they love each other more?