Characters and how they sound

I love creating characters and then telling people about them. This week I’ve been working on the form I’ll send to the publisher for the audio version of my second book. The bulk of the form is in two parts: a list of characters that speak and what their voices might sound like, and a list of words that might be hard to pronounce and how to pronounce them.

For Espionage, I tried to do the entire form in one weekend. It was stressful, especially since I don’t speak French or German, so I not only had to figure out how to say all those foreign words I’d used, but also how to write out how to say them.

I have plenty of time to finish the form for book two, so I’m having fun with it. I compiled the list of characters during one of my revisions and now I’m writing out things like: “should have an English accent and sound like he’s an arrogant jerk” or “he’s the joker in the bunch with a nice Texas drawl”. Sometimes I feel like I’m listing the cast in a movie: gestapo agent one, man at the train station, etc. It’s fun.

As for the rest of the form, I’ll compile that list of hard-to-pronounce words when I go through the manuscript again. With the copy/paste feature, I’m thinking it won’t be so horrible—after all, I’ve already figured out how to pronounce standartenführer and einsatzgruppen.

I also want to say thank you to Jason Tatom. He’s the narrator/performer/reader for the audio version of Espionage. I wrote the book not thinking much about the poor narrator. Switching back and forth between a Scottish and a French accent? Yep, somehow he manages that particular conversation. I hope he had fun recording it. I’m having fun listening to it.